We can't stop flooding but we can learn to live with it by being prepared.

Lake Wakatipu and Lake Wanaka are prone to flooding. Major floods in 1995 and 1999 caused a lot of damage to the central business districts in Queenstown and Wanaka, and some residential areas in Kingston and Glenorchy.

Monitoring Lake Levels

Anyone can monitor river and lake levels by visiting the Otago Regional Council Water Info Website. Lake levels are also physically monitored by QLDC staff during heavy rainfall.

View Kawarau Catchment Information (Lake Wakatipu)

View Upper Clutha Catchment Information (Lake Wanaka & Lake Hawea)


Trigger Levels

  First warning level Standby level Flood (low lying areas)
Lake Wakatipu 310.8m 311.1m 311.3m
Lake Wanaka 279.4m 279.8m 280.0m

Reaching this first warning level does not mean there’s a flood. It simply means that the Council will begin communicating with businesses and residents that could be affected by a flood and encouraging them to begin implementing their own flood management plan.

Flood Information Brochures

The following brochures have some good simple advice on how to make plans to reduce possible effects of flooding on your building.

Joint Flood Strategy - Learning to live with Flooding

In October 2006 the Queenstown Lakes District Council and Otago Regional Council adopted a joint risk management strategy for the Queenstown Lakes District.