How do you get there?
If you're traveling south from Lake Pukaki, there's a bridge that crosses over the Pukaki Canal - turn right immediately before the bridge. There are no signs on the main road showing where this lake is. You'll drive onto a gravel road which follows alongside the canal.
There's a turn to your right that leads to the lake, but it's steep and rough so continue on for another 1.6kms and you'll find another right hand turn which is much better.
There's loads of space and lots of choices to park - spots near the trees for shade, large areas for any size campers and the whole area is pretty flat.
The ground is super dry, so dry that when I was walking across it, it was crunching like crispy autumn leaves underfoot.
Lake Poaka is DOC and is open to freedom camping. You must be self contained and stay no longer than 4 consecutive nights in any calendar month. There are long drop toilets but no drinking water available.
The mountains in the distance make a stunning view and when there's no breeze the lake reflects like a mirror.
There was some bird life around, although not as much as I was expecting being a conservation area.
Even though the dogs would love exploring this area, there's a 'No Dog' rule here.
If you decide to stay here, there's a dump station ten minutes down the road in Twizel. Plus shopping, fuel and fresh water can be found in Twizel.