Project Title: Love Lake Wanaka 2019-2020



Metres Planted:
466 m

Volunteer Hours:

Location: Upper Clutha Catchment

GPS Coordinates: -44.668749, 169.068424

Project Cost: NZD $60176

Cost per Metre: NZD $129

Metres to be planted: 465m

Field Partner: Otago Regional Council

Project ID: SI8

Project Description:


After completion of this project we went back and double checked our measurements of meters planted because like Love Lake Wānaka  we felt like we planted more than we originally projected. And guess what? WE DID!! In fact we planted 1,761m across 11 different sites. Almost 3 times the amount we originally projected!! This brings our grand total so far to 3,146m. The plants are being assessed yearly and are doing well. All sites assessed have had high survival rates, which means we have had to replace very few.

None of this could have been achieved without all of the hardworking volunteers that gave up parts of their weekends to get these in the ground and the very kind donations from you all. So thank you!


Million Metres is really excited to announce that Speight’s has rolled up its sleeves to help look after what matters – New Zealand’s precious waterways. You can read all about our partnership with Speight’s here.

In short, Speight’s has put up $120,000 over the next three years to support waterway planting projects in the Otago region. The first project on board is Love Lake Wanaka! Every new donation for Lake Wanaka will be matched by Speight’s. Make your donation now!


Love Lake Wanaka is back! In 2018 the local Wanaka community and people all around New Zealand jumped on board our Million Metres’ crowdfunding campaign and helped us raise an amazing $60,000! With that we’ve planted 4,500 plants but we’ve got lots more to do. 

This time round we’re looking to raise another $60,000 which will allow us to plant an another 5,000 plants at a selection of sites, creating 2,500 square metres of riparian margin. In linear metres that’s 465 metres. We will be planting throughout the Upper Clutha catchment including additional planting at Glendhu wetland and Wishbone Falls among other sites. 

Please help us protect the precious waterways around Wanaka for generations to come. Read on to learn more about our project.


The Otago region is blessed with abundant freshwater generated in the Southern Alps. It sustains the region’s recreation, tourism, agriculture and hydroelectric dams and is the source of all drinking water for the area.

The Upper Clutha Lakes Trust is a group of passionate individuals and organisations working to ensure the lakes and waterways in this area are clean and healthy for generations to come.


Our goal is to plant 24,000 native trees and plants along waterways in the Upper Clutha catchment between 2018 and 2022! This is part of a larger multi-year project supported by the Ministry for the Environment to develop a district wide plan for managing the future long-term health of these waterways.


We’re raising funds now to support the next stage of planting.  

Funding will be used for eco-sourced plants, compost and fertiliser, preparation of the sites, and due to the unique Otago conditions, post care such as rabbit fencing, watering and releasing. 15% will go to Million Metres for their administration of the website and assistance with the fundraising.

We’re collecting lots of native seed so that we can grow eco-sourced seedlings in Te Kākano Aotearoa Trust’s community nursery.

Your support of this fundraiser will help to protect the small streams and tributaries and provide native habitat for our native birds and insects. This will help ensure our rivers and lakes are healthy, enriching our lives for years to come.

We will provide our donors with reports on our progress. And we’d love to have you at a planting day or at our regular volunteer sessions at the Te Kākano nursery.


Lake Wanaka is New Zealand’s fourth largest lake. It is fed by rivers that have their headwaters in permanent glaciers in the Southern Alps

The Clutha River or Mata-Au starts at Lake Wanaka and flows south across the Otago region to the Pacific Ocean south west of Dunedin.

It’s the longest river in the South Island and the second longest river in the whole country. It has the highest flow, with twice the volume of water as the Waikato. . These healthy, pristine waters underpin the identity of the region and contribute immensely to the lifestyle enjoyed by the residents of the lake communities around Wanaka. It underpins the economy of these communities and draws visitors from around New Zealand and the world.


There are increasing pressures on these waterways including intensification in agriculture and horticulture, rapid urban development, population growth and increasing visitor numbers. This growth and development is beginning impact on the waterways. Lake Wanaka already has three introduced “pests” (Didymo, Lake Snow and Lagarosiphon) and we don’t want any more! Lake snow is an invasive algae that fouls fishing lines and clogs water filters. It is becoming more prevalent in Lake Wanaka each summer. Its cause is unknown, however the organism has been imported through tourism or agri-tourism.


In 2018, we raised $60,000 to support 4,500 going in the ground! Thanks to the amazing individuals and businesses that supported our fundraiser.

The main two planting sites are Wishbone Falls and Glendhu Wetland.

Wishbone Falls is at the entrance of the Mt Aspiring National Park . Work started here a few years ago when Fish & Game Otago teamed up with Mt Aspiring Station, Forest and Bird and Touchstone to start the Wishbone Easement Habitat Enhancement Project in 2016. At this site we’ve partnered with Mt Aspiring Station who have set aside some land for regeneration near the access track to the falls. In 2018, we did a test planting to see if the young plants would survive through a harsh winter. They did very well – so in 2019, we’ll plant roughly 1,000 plants at this site.

Glendhu Wetland Wildlife Reserve is a Department of Conservation managed reserve which is otherwise known as Scaife’s lagoon. It contains Raupo (Typha Orientalis) and is an important habitat for wetland birds for breeding, feeding and resting.

Other planting sites include Hawea River track, Beacon Point, Albert Town lagoon, and more!


There are many individuals, organisations and government agencies working together on this.

Upper Clutha Lakes Trust – Is a community body focused on the protection, preservation and restoration of the Upper Clutha waterways. We use science to help individuals, groups and commercial entities understand the changes in water quality over time. Through projects, we create opportunities for water users and the community to help solve water problems together.

Otago Regional Council – is responsible for managing Otago’s land, air and water resources on behalf of the community. ORC is the agency holding the contract with the Ministry for the Environment for the Freshwater Improvement Fund (FIF) project, on behalf of the Upper Clutha Lakes Trust.

Catchments Otago, Otago University – aims to help protect threatened landscapes and support equitable and appropriate land and water management in Otago. Catchments Otago will run the Applied Research component of the FIF project.

Te Kākano Aotearoa Trust – The trust is a community-based native plant nursery. It specialises in propagating plants of Upper Clutha origin for local habitat restoration. Te Kākano works with local community groups, schools, organisations and businesses in the effort to promote hands-on community land care.

Queenstown Lakes District Council – makes decisions alongside and on behalf of the people living in this district. In relation to this project, it manages the sewerage, water and stormwater infrastructure, and many of the parks and reserves around water, as well as the harbour master.


Photos for this page have been kindly supplied by Lake Wanaka Tourism, Wanaka Photography, Te Kākano Aotearoa Trust and Discover Wanaka.

Thanks to all of the amazing photographers that are helping us to share this beautiful place.


Speight’s support for Love Lake Wanaka is part of their commitment to supporting waterway restoration in the Otago region over the next three years.

Speight’s is contributing $120,000 as match funds to support planting efforts in the region, starting in the Upper Clutha Catchment (Wanaka) down to Speight’s local home town of Dunedin.

Visitors to the Speight’s Brewery in Dunedin will also be able to donate to the cause when they go on a brewery tour or take fresh water from the infamous Speight’s Tap.



Progress Photos: