Lake Coleridge

Lake Coleridge

Lake Coleridge (Māori: Whakamatua) is a lake of glacial origin in the Selwyn District in the Canterbury region of New Zealand's South Island. It is located 35 northwest of Methven, has an area of ​​47 km ² and a depth of up to 200 m. The lake is part of one of New Zealand's earliest and first state-owned hydropower projects. This makes the height difference of the lake to the 170 m lower Rakaia River in the north of the lake available. The project was completed on November 25, 1914. With the arrival of the women of up to 400 employees at the construction of the hydropower plants, the settlement Cooleridge Village was built on the lake. In addition to natural tributaries, part of the Rakaia rivers Harper and Wilberforce River are diverted across the lake. For the Māori, the lake was an important stopover on its travels across the New Zealand Alps to acquire the coveted Jade Pounamuzu for its abundance of eels and fish. The first Europeans to see the lake were surveyors who were to survey a road to the Goldfields on the West Coast. The land around the lake was later used by the Europeans mainly as pasture for extensive farms. The lake is named after a member of the Canterbury Association, who was a descendant of the English poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

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