Lake Evelyn - High Country South Island

Lake Evelyn is a long slender shaped lake located in the Canterbury High Country approximately 130 km from Christchurch. It is a fairly shallow lake with mostly raupo and flax lined boggy shorelines, due to this foot access is quite limited and far more area can be covered by paddled fishing craft. It doesn't normally hold a high number of fish, nor are they of any significant large size, but it certainly is an enjoyable spot to spend the day float tube fishing.




The west side of Lake Evelyn

This is the first side of the lake reached from Harper Road, approximately halfway along the lake is a mild 4X4 track leading right to the lake edge with enough firm ground to allow foot fishermen about 50m of shoreline acces.  The majority of this stretch is heavily boggy and raupo infested making foot access quite difficult and far better fished by some form of paddled craft.

The road leading to the lake's edge

A fisherman with careful footing trying his luck

The north end of Lake Evelyn

This end is very shallow and very boggy.  Fishing at this end on foot is almost impossible due to the boggy ground, and due to it being so shallow it can be hard work in paddle craft also. On hot summer's day this shallow water can quickly heat up often forcing fish to the deeper cooler water however at times of lower water temperature fish will venture into the shallow water looking for a feed.

The east side of Lake Evelyn

Along this stretch is a mixture of boggy areas, plus a few solid areas able to be accessed by fishermen on foot. The best way to access this side on foot is to walk up and around the boggy area of the north end and carefully make your way along the shoreline.  Many of the spots able to be fished from the bank offer very shallow water in amongst islands of raupo and tussock not suitable to spin fishermen however some deeper water can be found as you work your way towards the south end.

Islands of tussock, raupo and flax in amongst shallow water make the top end of this stretch only really suitable to fly fishing

The south end of Lake Evelyn

The majority of this end is very shallow with an incredibly silty bottom with some areas that will have you sinking waist deep and over if you try to make your way into the water on foot.  The majority of this stretch can be fished from the shoreline however again it is far better accessed from a float tube or similar.

General fishing in Lake Evelyn

There isn't a high number of fish present in this lake, nor are there trophy fish present, but Lake Evelyn provides fantastic scenery for those who enjoy leisurely fishing picturesque locations in paddle crafts. Due to the limited foot access this lake does not see too many visitors which is a bonus if you are looking for a day of solitude. With the typically low fish numbers and small lake size catch and release is highly recommended.

Accessing Lake Evelyn

Coming from Christchurch: Lake Evelyn can be accessed from two routes:

Highway 73 to Lyndon Road to Harper Road
This is the route I normally travel, nice and scenic plus you can strike a hatch as you pass by Lake Georgina or Lake Lyndon on your way in/out.

Highway 77 to Coleridge Road to Homestead Road to Harper Road
Another scenic route, slightly longer however you don't have to tackle the steep gradients of Porters Pass so it is a more popular option for those towing boats.

Both routes are open to the public and are well maintained roads. Use the Google map above for detailed directions

Lake Evelyn General Information

Lake Evelyn Camping and General Facilities

Lake Evelyn Fishing Information

Lake Evelyn Cautions and Safety Information

Author of this article: ADVGD(366)