With 26 square kilometres of lake to use and explore, there’s room for everyone on Lake Dunstan, and Wooing Tree Estate’s lakeside location makes it an ideal launch pad for yachties, boaties and fisherman alike. Just a short stroll from the vines is McNulty Inlet, home to the Lake Dunstan Boat Club, with its all-weather launching ramp, lakeside clubhouse, and secure boat storage facilities. This sheltered inlet also provides a safe harbour for beginners and children to learn the basics before venturing out onto the lake proper.
The club was formed in 1987 by a group of keen yachting, boating and diving enthusiasts in anticipation of the formation of Lake Dunstan following the completion of the Clyde Dam project. It has an excellent Zodiac safety/coach boat, four 420 two-person sailing dinghies, and two Vikings sailing dinghies for kids to learn in. Club membership is made up of powerboat owners and sailing enthusiasts.
For those looking for more exhilarating experience, the flat waters of the lake provide an idyllic playground for jets-kiers, wake-boarders, water-skiers, as well as jetboat owners.
Another plus for Lake Dunstan is the fact that there’s a beach pretty much right around it, so no matter where you go, there’s a piece of beach to sit on. And if it’s windy at one end of the lake, generally, it’s calm at the other.
Central Otago is often talked about as being an angler’s paradise. It offers world-class opportunities for fishing enthusiasts of all levels to indulge in the quiet pleasures offered by their favourite past-time, frequently with a backdrop of breath-taking mountain scenery.
Its rivers and lakes boast excellent fishing in places, where safe, easy access is readily available for a family outing. However, at the other end of the scale, there are also plenty of spots for the more adventurous angler who likes to get off the beaten track.
The area around Cromwell, on Lake Dunstan in particular, provides multiple options for the keen angler. There is easy access along most of its shoreline, with plenty of rest areas with barbeques and picnic areas. Those situated at inflowing streams provide the convenience of angling and somewhere for families to kick back and relax. There are also plenty of public ramps for launching boats.
The best method for fishing Lake Dunstan is by trolling or harling from a slow-moving boat, although spinning from the shore is also quite productive, especially around any stream mouth. Fly fishing is also popular and effective. Using Polaroid glasses to cut the surface glare and a light rod with a floating line, trout can be targeted as they cruise close to the shore along the weed beds.
While brown and rainbow trout are present throughout the lake, the most productive area to fish is the Clutha Arm, especially the point where the Clutha River flows into the system.