Lake Hawea is located in the Otago Region of New Zealand, at an altitude of 348 metres. It covers an area of some 141 km² and is, at its deepest, 392 metres deep.
In 1958 the lake was raised artificially by 20 metres to store more water for increased Hydroelectric power generation.
At its greatest extent, which is roughly along a north-south axis, the lake is 35 kilometres long. It lies in a glacial valley formed during the last ice age, and is fed by the Hunter River. Nearby Lake Wanaka lies in a parallel glacial valley eight kilometres to the west. At their closest point (a rocky ridge called The Neck), the lakes are only 1000 metres apart. Lake Hawea is dammed to the south by an ancient Terminal moraine created some 10,000 years ago.
The lake is a popular resort, and is well used in the summer for fishing, boating and swimming. The nearby mountains and fast-flowing rivers allow for adventure tourism year-round, with jet boating and skiing facilities located nearby.