The township of Hawea is found on the southern end of Lake Hawea, 10-15mins drive north of Wanaka.

The lake itself is 141 km² and is 392 metres deep. Hawea is a Māori name and it is thought to be named after a local tribe, although the exact meaning is uncertain.

Driving to and from Wanaka

Hawea is connected to the West Coast and to Wanaka via State Highway 6. It is a common stopping point when driving to/from Haast and other locations on the West Coast.

When driving through Hawea to Cromwell or Queenstown, it is possible to take the back roads (Domain Road, Gladstone Road, Kane Road) via Luggate. This will only shave a few minutes of your journey, but it is shorter nonetheless.

Approximate driving times:

  • 10mins to Wanaka
  • 30mins to Cromwell
  • 1hr 45mins to Haast

Busing to and from Hawea

There is no frequent bus service connecting Wanaka and Hawea, however the Intercity route to the West Coast does has a stop in Hawea, just off the main road at the dam.

Hitch Hiking to and from Hawea

It’s very easy to hitch hike along SH6, between Hawea and Wanaka. Just find a safe stop on the main road and a local will more than likely pick you up.

Please note that there can always be risks with hitch hiking. It should always be done with caution. 360queenstown-wanaka takes no responsibility for incidents that could be linked to the advice we provide.