Lake Benmore is New Zealand’s largest artificial lake, having been created in the 1960s by the construction of Benmore Dam. This is New Zealand’s largest earth dam and was part of the Upper Waitaki Hydroelectric project. Construction of Benmore Dam was approved in 1957 and the lake was filled in December 1964.
The lake has an area of about 75 km² and a shoreline 116km long. The lake consists of two arms: the Haldon arm which is fed mainly by the Tekapo, Pukaki, Twizel rivers, and the Ohau Canal; and the Ahuriri Arm, fed mainly by the Ahuriri River.
The lake is popular for boating and swimming with many secluded beaches and bays to be found. There are also several popular walks in the area. Autumn is a great time to visit and see the leaves changing colour. The lake is a fishing spot with fish such as brown trout, rainbow trout, chinook salmon, and sockeye salmon.