This lake is just north of Fairlie and in the summer is a mecca for locals as they head there with boats etc to enjoy what, I'm led to believe, is a very large expanse of water. The lakes main purpose is to provide water for local farmers, however, when we were there the lake had almost dried up and if we had arrived a couple of weeks earlier we would have seen it completely empty. This is having a bad effect on the local community so hopefully the rains do come to provide the much needed water both for recreation and farmers.
Fairlie itself is one of the towns that we have driven through quite a few times on the way either to Mt Cook area or on to Te Anau to see friends but we'd never stopped. With this in mind we decided to pop into the local information centre to find out a bit more about the place and embarked on a local self guided historical walk through the town. Turns out that this really was quite an important spot in the early 20th century as it was the end of the line for tourists wanting to get to Mt Cook for skiing who then had to disembark and go the rest of the way by coach.....you had to really want to get to the mountain in the early days!
The highlight of the area though was finding the Fairlie Bakery which bakes the most amazing gourmet pies. I just couldn't resist wild venison with red wine gravy and cranberries while Bec indulged in pork belly with apple sauce, which, even had a piece of crackling on top!
Overall this was a much more pleasant stop than we anticipated and will definitely go back for another pie someday :-)