The Story

Lake Hood and the Ashburton Aquatic Park is an extraordinary community project.

Brought together by the efforts of a group of visionary local people, Lake Hood was initially designed to provide an aquatic recreational resource for the people of mid-Canterbury. The volunteers task was to raise the capital to create a non tidal, 80 hectare expanse of clean, safe water, an eight lane international standard rowing course, a separate international standard water skiing course, together with several kilometers of canals and a residential sub-division.  After 15 years in voluntary work, 32 resource consents, extensive planning and development, the 173 hectare park was officially opened in 2002, becoming a key asset for the people of the region.

In their continued drive to develop Lake Hood a decision was made to build a restaurant on the shore of the lake.  This was to provide a fantastic venue for those who lived locally but also a great spot for those wanting a destination for the day.  In November 2007 The Lake House Restaurant and Bar was opened.

The next stage of the park’s development – the Lake Hood Extension Project – will add more than 1,100 additional acres to the reserve. In particular, the lake’s area will be doubled, with planned beaches, canals and islands; dedicated water-sports areas; walking and riding trails and public promenades; complementing a new precinct of vineyards, farm-markets, parklands, and access to the historic Riversdale Homestead.

The trustees named the lake after a prominent local businessman – Doug Hood –  in recognition of the community contributions made by Doug during his life in the mid-Canterbury area.
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