Lake Wakatipu zig-zag's it's way from Glenorchy to Kingston via Queenstown. A phenomenon known as transverse seiche gives the impression that the lake is tidal, but the changing water levels are due to atmospheric conditions. Today the lake provides enjoyment to sailors, fishermen and divers and with Queenstown sitting on its shores, pleasure cruising and adventure seekers all make use of these beautiful waters. At 293 square kilometres the lake is the second largest of the southern lakes and drops to a depth of 378 metres.
The Maori meaning of Wakatipu is 'place where the demon lies'. A legend tells of a giant demon who captured a chief's daughter and after struggling over the mountain ranges fell asleep. The daughters' lover caught up with the demon and while he was asleep set him on fire. His burning body created the shape of the lake we see today. The legend says the demons heart is still in the lake and it is the heart pumping that causes the water levels to rise and fall.