New Zealand has its fair share of lakes – 41 major and over 4000 little ones to be precise! There’s plenty to do and see around New Zealand’s lakes, making them worth building in to your route plans when you’re hiring a car from Auckland. Here are some North Island lakes to consider visiting. Kai Iwi Lakes –  Part of the Taharoa domain reserve and made up of three water freshwater lakes on the west coast of the North Island, you’ll find clear waters and white sand. Fishing for rainbow trout is popular, while wetlands surround Lake Papaitonga, making it a worthwhile for bird lovers. There’s camping close to the lakes and plenty of space on the water for kayaking and windsurfing. The shallow water makes it suitable for kids, and there are walking and cycling tracks around the area.
Lake Taupo – Located by the town of the same name and just under 4 hours drive from Auckland, Lake Taupo is the largest lake in Australasia. It sits in a crater formed during a volcanic eruption many thousands of years ago. Taupo is well-known for trout fishing, and if you fancy casting a line, head to Turangi’s natural trout fishery – the biggest in the world. Outside of fishing, options include the spectacular Huka Falls, kayaking and sailing. If you do make it out on the lake, take in the Maori rock carvings that can only be seen from the water.

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Dec 26, 2013 at 7:57pm PST
Lakes Rotoiti and Rotorua – Actually two lakes and a host of others nearby, which form part of the North Island’s lake district. Lake Rotorua is the largest in the area and arguably the best known. Sitting next to Rotorua town, the lake offers a variety of on-water excursions including the now famous duck tours and jet boat rides. Nearby you can visit glow worm caves or try your hand at whitewater rafting. Lake Rotoiti, formed over 8500 years ago and 11km in length, also has plenty to offer visitors. As well as yet more trout fishing, there are water sports and lake cruises available here too. Cruises include historical and cultural information, providing a relaxing way to learn about the local area. Hot pools only accessible by boat are another good option, especially if you need some warming up. There are a number of scenic walks in the vicinity of the two lakes. A popular option is Blue Lake where you can take a two hour stroll, taking in beaches. Part of the walk includes views of the nearby Green Lake which is owned by local Maori and deemed sacred. With one lake on either side you can compare the differing water colours.
  Emerald Lakes – Perhaps the least easily accessible lake on this list, visiting the Emerald Lakes requires hiking the Tongariro Crossing. A popular 19.4 km hike, the route gives you an opportunity to see the lakes up close. They get their exceptional colour from minerals that dissolve and pass down from the Red Crater further up the track. If the spectacle of mountain lakes isn’t enough, Lord of the Rings fans may appreciate that the area featured as Mordor in the movie trilogy.
Lake Waikaremoana – There are plenty of legends based around the lake, which is sacred to local Maori. The area is a walker’s paradise with Lake Waikaremoana Great Walk just one of several available in the area, some of which take several days. Something to think about on the way round is the underwater petrified forest, created when waters rose following a volcanic eruption thousands of years ago.

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Aug 16, 2018 at 8:05pm PDT
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