Must see picturesque New Zealand lakes

Did you know there is more than 4000 lakes in this amazing country?

These are the most stunning lakes in New Zealand and there are some truly fascinating facts about them…

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Lake Te Anau, South Island

Lake Te Anau is second largest lake by surface area in New Zealand and it’s more than 4oom deep. Most of this lake is situated within Fiordland National Park and it is a must see place while traveling around Southland especially if you are planning to visit Milford Sound or you are going to walk New Zealand Great Walks.

Lake Taupo, North Island

Lake Taupo is the largest lake in New Zealand. It sits in the caldera of Taupo Volcano created by a supervolcanic eruption. Every year more than 2 million people come here to admire to this gem of the North Island.

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Lake Wanaka, South Island

Home of the probably most famous tree in the world is Lake Wanaka situated at the lower South Island in Otago region. This lake lies in valley formed by glacial erosion during the last ice age. It is a great place for adventure tourism all year around.

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Lake Pukaki, South Island

Glacial sediments fed this lake by the Tasman and Hooker Glaciers, there’s the reason for beautiful blue colour of the water. With the massive Mt Cook in the background it is not strange that Lake Pukaki found its place in the Hobbit Trilogy.

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Lake Tekapo, South Island

It doesn’t matter if you visit this lake during the day or night, it’s amazing! It gets turquoise colour from glacial dust suspended in the water.  Lake Tekapo is part of the UNESCO Dark Sky Reserve, making it the perfect spot for stargazing. I can’t describe you how tranquil this place is…

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Lake Wakatipu, South Island

Famous adventure capital Queenstown lies on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, New Zealand’s longest lake. Because of its unusual shape Lake Wakatipu has a so called ‘tide’ which causes the water to rise and fall about 10 cm every 25 minutes. Perfect scenery for the postcard, isn’t it?

Fascinating Redwoods

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Amazing place just five minutes from downtown Rotorua is Whakarewarewa Forest known by the locals as Redwoods. People come here to ride a mountain bike, enjoy horse riding and a walk along great walking tracks. For me the most fascinating thing was Treewalk. It consists of 23 suspension bridges between 22 Californian coastal redwoods. The view of 100 years old dense native bush, from 12 meters above the ground, is stunning!

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Meeting of the seas

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This is definitely one more special place in New Zealand. Cape Reinga is the spot where two seas clash. It is the meeting point of Tasman Sea and Pacific Ocean. Really amazing. You can see how unsettled the water is, it looks like a race. If you are watching from atop the view is absolutely perfect…

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Road trippin’ North Island (part II)

After first three days on the road and all the beautiful nature around us we wanted more! We didn’t really have planned what we want to do and where we want to go because it is definitely more exciting to plan while you are on the move. After Coromandel, Rotorua and Taupo I took the map to see where to next! It is easy to travel like that when you have a car and our campervan was a perfect choice for the trip like this one. We rented it in one of the chepaest rentals here and it completely met our expectations!

When you have the equipment like this one in you trunk you can go to the end of the world!

So, our next stop was Cape Kidnappers, the home of the largest gannet colony in the world and I have to say: that huge sandstone looks really fascinating! You can’t get to the cape by car but of course there are other ways. You can take a helicopter, ride the tractor along the beach or you can walk from Clifton. It is eight kilometers long walk and it is possible to complete it only if you start at the right time. Before you go check the low tide times and make sure to have enough time to do the return walk. And what about the name of this cape? As captain Cook’s journal says in 1769. Maori wanted to kidnap Tiata, servant of a member of captains’ Cook’s crew. He was in the water when a Maori dragged him on their fishing boat but Cook’s sailors opened the fire and Tiata manage to escape. There it is, that is why today we have the place called Cape Kidnappers!

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On the next day we continued our ride to Wellington. On the way to the south we stop in Manawatu Gorge and went for a walk. It is really nice place where you can enjoy in the native bush and in the views of the river, reserve or windfarms. This track is situated east of the Palmerston North, it is on the SH 3, you can’t miss it!

In the end we arrived to Wellington, colorful small coastal city and we loved it! Finally we know why it is called “the coolest little capital in the world” and we totally agree with that nickname!

Food market is definitely great place to eat something delicious. Here you can find the food from all over the world.

While we were there we didn’t want to miss the chance to visit the seal colony at the Owhiro Bay. At the end of the 40 minutes long walk, to the Red Rocks, colony of around 150 seals are waiting for you. This rocks are formed by undersea volcanic eruptions and obviously make a perfect home for this cute creatures. Oh, what a perfect way to finish a road trip, isn’t it?

Time for the road trippin’ !

We just got back from our seven day road trip around North Island. Oh man I enjoy it so much! Starting point was Auckland and we got all the way to Wellington. This trip was pretty different from our other trips and here is the story about the first three days on the way down. Maybe this could be a part of your great itinerary for a future trips around New Zealand.

From Auckland we went to Coromandel peninsula. We watched many videos about it and just needed to experience this magnificent place on our own. First stop was Hot Water Beach on the east side. Some volcanoes develop underground reservoirs full of the superheated water and sometimes it just escape to the surface. People from all over the world come here to enjoy in the private thermal hot pools. How to do it? You need to arrive here at the time of the low tide, dig up a whole in the sand (if you don’t want to dig with the hands you can rent a shovel) and the hot water with a temperature of 64 degrees will come up. Pretty simple, isn’t it?!

Hot Water Beach

Hot Water Beach

Hot Water Beach

Hot Water Beach

Other place on this peninsula, not far away from the Hot water beach, is Cathedral Cove, THE place with a naturally formed archway. I don’t know did you ever had the chance to see it but I’m impressed with it! We definitely have found the spot where we will spend the hot summer days. You can get there by foot, boat or kayak and it doesn’t matter what way you will choose because all the ways that lead here are impressive!

Here is the start of the walk to the Cathedral Cove

Here is the start of the walk to the Cathedral Cove

Cathedral Cove

Cathedral Cove

City that we were very exciting to finaly visit was Rotorua in the Bay of Plenty region. This small town is mostly known for its geothermal activity, geysers and hot mud pools. The steam was following us all the time! It was a real experience to walk around the Kuirau Park while on every step something evaporates. It is definitely special place, we never saw anything like it. If you would like to take a bath in one of the thermal pools you can find few in Waiotapu and in Kerosene Creek which are about 30 km south of Rotorua. Just be careful and don’t dip your head in the water, it is not really healthy.

Kuirau Park

Kuirau Park

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Kerosene Creek, Waiotapu

Clear beautiful night greeted us in Taupo, small town located on the shore of Lake Taupo. The scenery here is magnificent, you can just sit on the coast and enjoy the atmosphere! Spots like this one are definitely one of the reasons why we came to New Zealand and we are happy because in this country stunning places are on every corner. While you are here don’t forget to stop on the Huka Falls, choose a trail for a walk or biking alongside the falls. It is a perfect place for a picnic, so take something delicious to eat!

Lake Taupo

Lake Taupo

Huka Falls

TIP: New Zealand is heaven for camping. Here you can find lot of areas where you can pull over, park your car or set up your tent and it is mostly for free! Here are my suggestions for this part of the North Island: Railway Reserve south of Coromandel Peninsula, Reid’s Farm near the Lake Taupo (this place is perfect) and ANZAC park which you can find just off the State Highway 2, right before Norsewood.

Road trippin’ continues!

Happy travels!

Reid’s Farm