Lake Rotokotuku / Kotukutuku

Kotukutuku (Lake Rotokotuku) is a small peat lake located approximately five kilometers southeast of Te Kuiti in the Waitomo district. The lake and surrounding wetland are associated with peat soils within a karst catchment.The wetlands are fed via groundwater, rain, and surface runoff during high rainfall events but there are no streams or drains entering […]

Lake Puketi

Lake Puketi is a small dune lake near Kariotahi Beach to the north of Waikato’s west coast. It is the bigger of the “Twin Dune Lakes” (Lakes Pukei and Lake Rotoiti), which have an old pa site between them. This is part of the Awhitu Ecological District ( Main image by David G. Schmale III, […]

Lake Okowhao

Lake Okowhao is a small (8ha) riverine lake north of Huntly. It discharges to the Waikato river via an old oxbow enhanced to provide tuna habitat. Historically used as a food bowl for surrounding marae, the lake now has poor water quality and is dominated by pest fish. The catchment (about 390ha) is mainly dairy […]

Lake Rotokauri

Lake Rotokauri is located seven kilometres north-west of Hamilton city. It has a surface area of 77 hectares and a maximum depth of four metres. It is a peat lake and is part of the Waipa peat lake complex. The catchment area surrounding the lake is a mixture of residential, industrial and pastoral. Lake Rotokauri […]

Lake Ngarotoiti

Lake Ngarotoiti is a peat lake situated near Ohaupo, South of Hamilton. The lake once drained to Lake Ngaroto to the south, but to stabalise Ngaroto lake levels the Ngarotoiti flow was diverted ( Main image by David G. Schmale III, Virginia Tech,

Lake Maratoto

Lake Maratoto is a 16 ha peat lake located 10 km south of Hamilton City. It drains to Mystery Creek, a tributary of the Waikato River. The lake and adjacent wetlands have a LENZ ranking of Acutely Threatened and Underprotected. They lie on the eastern side of the Rukuhia ‘Swamp’, a 6000ha raised bog that […]

Lake Mangakaware

Lake Mangakaware is one of 31 peat lakes in the Waikato region. The lake has significant Maori historical value. Three prehistoric sites of previous habitation have been discovered, including a pā site beside lake Mangakaware ( Lake Mangakaware Care Group are actively restoring the lake and margins through weed control, pest control, planting and silt […]

Lake Mangahia

Lake Mangahia is a peat lake situated south east of Hamilton on private land. The lake area has been decreasing over time, and a weir has been added to stabilize water levels ( The current landowners have begun a restoration project fencing and planting the riparian margins in natives and removing the invasive species ( […]

Lake Koromatua

Lake Koromatua is located 5km south west of the edge of Hamilton. The 6.5 hectare lake is perched on the edge of what was once the extensive Rukuhia peat dome, one of 11 major peat formations in the Waikato basin. It’s one of a meandering chain of more than 31 peat lakes, formed over 17,000 […]

Lake Harihari

Lake Harihari is a remote dune-dammed lake located some 10 km south of Kawhia on the Waikato Region’s west coast. The lake bed belongs to Tahāroa Lakes Trust and the land around it is private ( Lake Harihari’s water quality and overall condition are very good, and the best amongst the Waikato dune lakes. It […]

Lake Hakanoa

Lake Hakanoa is located within the eastern side of the Huntly township. The lake is a riverine lake with links to the Waikato River, which lies 300 meters to the west (www.wikipedia). Lake Hakanoa is in a wildlife refuge administered by the Department of Conservation, that is managed on a day to day basis by […]

Lake Kainui / Lake D

Lake Kainui (also known as Lake D) is located within the Kainui peat bog in the Horsham Downs area, north of Hamilton. It is a shallow peat lake which has important ecological values. Due to its locality, the lake is highly peat-influenced, giving the water a brown/tea-coloured appearance. It suffers from regular cyanobacterial blooms, and […]

Lake Areare

Lake Areare is one of 31 peat lakes in the Waikato region. Peat lakes are globally rare ecosystems. Classified as ‘acutely threatened’, the Waikato peat lakes are important historically, culturally and environmentally.Lake Areare is one of three lakes which is the focus a restoration project called Living Water. Living Water’s key focus is restoring unique […]

Lake Waiwhakareke / Horseshoe Lake

Horseshoe Lake (Lake Waiwhakareke) is located on the outskirts of Hamilton in the Waiwhakareke Natural Heritage Park (WHNP). WHNP is an award-winning, inter-generational ecological restoration project established in 2004. Main image by David G. Schmale III, Virginia Tech,

Lake Rotokaeo / Forest Lake

Forest Lake (Lake Rotokaeo) is located within Minogue Park in Hamilton urban area. The Māori name Rotokaeo translates as Lake (roto) of freshwater mussels (kāeo). In the past it also provided other food, such as koura, kokopu and tuna (eels), and plants such as raupō, mangemange and flax ( The area was once a large […]