LAKE HĀWEA, HOME OF LOCAL DEHY
Local Dehy is located in Lake Hāwea, nestled in the foothills of Tititea, Mount Aspiring National Park. Lake Hāwea is named after a Māori tribe who preceded the Waitaha people in the area. This lake and mountains inspire us to be our best selves. They humble us in their vastness and remind us to tread lightly. Legends of Papatuanuku – Mother Earth – remind us of our Kaitiakitanga – guardianship responsibilities for these wild places.
The shores of the Lake are surrounded by small hills that provide some great hiking opportunities with world-class views. Trails head up from the lakeshore to several of the peaks. On the western shore is the most well-known of the trails, Isthmus Peak. There are expansive views of the Ka Tiritiri o te Moana – the Main Divide, from its summit. At the tip of this peninsula, you can also see both Lake Hāwea and also Lake Wanaka, and separating them, a small piece of land called The Neck.
It is important to recognise that two hundred years ago, a visitor to the Lake Hāwea side of the Neck, north of the Lake Hāwea township, would have found a Maori village called Manuhaea. It had, perhaps, 20 houses surrounded by gardens of potato, turnip and other vegetables and had easy access to a freshwater lagoon. There was an abundance of weka, kakapo, kiwi, kea and kaka, and the streams were full of ”tuna” or eels. It was central to an extensive network of walking trails linked to all the major settlements and resources of the South to the West Coast. This area is now in the governance of DOC.
Photo: Isthmus Peak far left, the Neck centre left, McKerrow Range centre, and the Hunter Valley far right.
The most captivating mountains are those at the head of the lake, The McKerrow Range. These are the biggest mountains at Lake Hāwea, and the ones that dominate the skyline when standing on the pebble beach in the township. Sentinel Peak is the largest of these visible.
On the eastern side of the lake, a winding dirt road is a jump-off point for Grandview and Breast Hill. The Te Araroa passes through this area, and the DOC hut book at Pakituhi Hut is full of praise for its stunning location. After a hill walk a refreshing swim can be had on a hot day in the glacial-fed waters of the Hunter Valley.
Local Dehy takes responsibility for our impact on our beautiful corner of the world. Our environmental governance seeks to minimise harm throughout our processes and extends to product stewardship in the end-of-life cycle of our packaging.
When we visit these magical places we can all play our part in our responsibilities towards this whenua. The air, the mountains and the water are our lifeblood, destruction of them is destruction of us. We can all endeavour to try a little bit harder to protect our natural resources. Be a champion of the protection!