Makarora is situated in Mount Aspiring National Park at the head of Lake Wanaka. Makarora River Ranch is in the Makarora Valley, part of an extensive system of glaciated river valleys beginning in the permanent glaciers of the Southern Alps, which feed Lake Wanaka, New Zealand's fourth largest lake.
Makarora was known to Maori as "the place where life's essential elements, the wind weather and water, come together from many different sources to flow together to Lake Wanaka."
Makarora River Ranch is a working high country farm grazing sheep, cattle, red deer and Himalayan tahr now covering 4,000 hectares of freehold land. It has operated as a high country farm since 1861 and in recent times some of the land has been absorbed into Mount Aspiring National Park. Since we have had possum and stoat controls in place and regenerate the land with native planting, birdlife has increased dramatically, and birdsong often fills the valley.