Lake Tahaaroa (Waikato)

Lake Tahaaroa is the central lake of a complex of seven shallow freshwater dune lakes. Together they make up the only significant coastal freshwater wetland between Kaipara Harbour to the north and the South Taranaki bight. Taharoa lakes wetlands are now under a comprehensive restoration plan led by local iwi through the Taharoa Lakes Trust, […]

Whatihua Lake / Thompson’s Lake

Lake Whatihua (also known as Thompson’s Lake) is a long and narrow dune lake, surrounded by farmland at the base of the Āwhitu Peninsula. It is made up of a dune lake and wetland complex. It is located approximately five kilometres west of Waiuku, near Karioitahi beach and Lake Puketi. A narrow band of wetland […]

Lake Kaituna / Lake B

Lake Kaituna (also known as Lake B) is one of eight small peat lakes in the Horsham Downs district, north of Hamilton city. Once part of the now drained Kainui peat bog, the lake is located in an agricultural catchment and is hydrologically linked to the smaller Lake Komakorau (Lake C). Lake Kaituna covers an […]

Lake Whangape

Lake Whangape is located north-west of Huntly and is the second largest lake in the lower Waikato catchment. It was once a clear water source which sustained many generations of Māori, who managed it carefully to ensure it maintained its reputation as a formidable food basket resource. The Lake Whangape catchment is mostly pastoral, and […]

Lake Waikare

Lake Waikare is the largest lake (3,442 hectares) in the lower Waikato catchment. In 1965 the lake level was lowered by one metre as a flood control measure with the construction of an outlet gate. Lake Waikare discharges to the Whangamarino Wetland from the artificial Pungarehu Canal ( to its shallow nature (its depth is […]

Lake Waahi

Lake Waahi (or Lake Waihi) is located west of Huntly, linked to the Waikato River by way of a weir onto the short Waahi Stream. Lake Waahi is the third largest lake in the Waikato Region. The smaller Lake Puketirini is immediately southeast. The lake is supertrophic, meaning it is very nutrient enriched ( The […]

Lake Te Ku Utu

Lake Te Ku Utu (sometimes spelled Te Koo Utu and Te Koutu) is a 5.3 hectare lake situated in the heart of urban Cambridge, in the Cambridge Domain. The lake was treasured by Maori in pre-European days, taking eels, koura and fresh water from the lake, whose name translates to “ladle dipping into water”. The […]

Lake Rotopiko / Lake Serpentine N

Lake Serpentine North is one of three small peat lakes that make up the Rotopiko Lakes complex near Ohaupo in the Waipa District. Originally a single lake that formed at the end of the last ice-age, drainage of the surrounding land over the past century lowered the water level, creating three lakes connected by areas […]

Lake Rotoroa / Hamilton Lake

Lake Rotoroa (Hamilton Lake) is the largest of three lakes located within Hamilton city. The lake is used for a wide variety of recreational activities and is an important habitat for wildlife. Lake Rotoroa has high levels of phosphorus and nitrogen, which affect water clarity. However, water quality has improved over recent years as nutrient […]

Lake Rotongaro

Lake Rotongaro is located near Ohaki between the Waikato River and the larger Lake Whangape. It is a large shallow riverine lake, which links to the Waikato River. The lake has a single outflow draining into Lake Rotongaroiti, which then flows through the Rotongaro canal, and on into the Lake Whangape outlet (via a floodgate […]

Lake Rotomānuka North

The Rotomānuka Lakes are peat lakes situated in the Waipā District of the Waikato, 12 kilometres north of Te Awamutu. The Rotomānuka Lakes are made up of two open water areas – Rotomānuka North and Rotomānuka South, which are remnants of a once larger single lake. This splitting of the lake is due to historic […]

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 […]