Located in the Canterbury region
It covers nearly 60,000 hectares of rugged mountain country, tussocklands, beech forest and sparkling clear rivers and lakes between two mighty rivers the Rakaia and Rangitata.
All boating on lakes is regulated by EnvironmentCanterbury (ECan). Powered craft are permitted on Lake Camp, a recreation reserve managed by the Ashburton District Council. On all other lakes no powered craft are permitted. For any matters relating to water regulations contact the Harbour Master, ECan, Kilmore Street, Christchurch, +64 3 365 3828.
For queries about Lake Camp Recreation Reserve, contact the Ashburton District Council, Baring Square, Ashburton, +64 3 307 7700.
The Taylor Range above the Swin River and the headwaters of the Cameron River are both noted training grounds for budding alpinists. More technically challenging climbing is available in the higher peaks.
The lakes, rivers and streams of the park all support an exotic sports fishery.
Seasonal access to Harrisons Bight is available to permit holders. Find out how to obtain a permit and what conditions apply.
A commercial skifield at Mt Hutt offers a full range of skiing options. Backcountry heli-skiing is available in the higher country.
There are a number of access points into Hakatere Conservation Park:
Natural hazards in the park include weather effects, hypothermia risk, avalanches, rock falls and river crossing.
Weather in this area can change dramatically. If you are planning outdoor activities you must be prepared for any changes.
Cell phone coverage is very limited within much of the park. The use of satellite phones, mountain radios or personal locator beacons can all provide increased personal safety.
This remote alpine landscape, with its kettlehole wetlands, tussock grassland, beech forest and lakes and rivers, is home to many rare plants and animals. Read more about nature in Hakatere Conservation Park.
The park was part of the seasonal trail of mahinga kai and resource gathering. Knowledge of these trails continues to be held by whānau and hapū and is regarded as taonga. Mahinga kai resources taken from the area include: tuna/eels, weka, kākā, kererū, tūi, pūkeko, aruhe / fern root, kiore, kōkopu, tikumu and ti kōuka/ cabbage tree.
A Statutory Acknowledgement and Deed of Recognition has been placed over the area through the Ngāi Tahu Settlement Act 1998, to formally acknowledge the association and values that Ō Tū Wharekai (Ashburton Lakes) holds for Ngāi Tahu.
In this area pastoral farming, particularly merino sheep farming, was the dominant activity in early days of European settlement. Within the park, there is evidence of this in the historic hut at Lake Emma, the Hakatere Station buildings, musterers’ huts and pack tracks. Native vegetation, regarded as an obstruction to travel and grazing, was often cleared by burning.
When Barrosa pastoral lease completed the tenure review process in July 2010 around 4,840 hectares became public conservation land.
Historic features in the Hakatere Conservation Park area include the Mt Harper Ice Rink, possibly the first purpose-built public skating rink in the Southern Hemisphere, and Hakatere Station buildings, once at the heart of high country life in the Ashburton Gorge.