5 Must See New Zealand Lakes

5 Must See New Zealand Lakes

Written by mighway

Among New Zealand’s picturesque landscapes are its lakes. Many are so clear and still-running that they reflect the country’s beautiful mountains and forests. They’re perfect for swimming, sailing, fishing or simply viewing on a walk or camping trip. The country’s two islands are dotted with lakes, but there are five in particular that every tourist should make a plan to visit:

Lake Taupo.

Filling up the crater formed by Mt Tarawera’s devastating 1886 eruption, Lake Taupo is New Zealand’s largest lake. It is worth travelling through the central plateau of North Island simply for this geological masterpiece. As the largest freshwater lake in the entire continent, it is lasting evidence of the natural disaster’s impact. 

Lake Wakatipu

This lake is a hot attraction for tourists. Queenstown overlooks the lake, which is not too far from Arrowtown and Wanaka. The Remarkables ski field is close to all of them, and worth checking out while you’re here. Experience the lake by steamboat on the historic TSS Eamslaw, or take a leisurely walk or drive on its edge.

Lake Pukaki.

After experiencing Lake Wakatipu, head from Queenstown toward Tekapo, and have a picnic by yet another natural beauty. Located in the shadow of Mt Cook, this lake was formed directly by the melting glaciers, snow and ice from the mountain.

Lake Tekapo.

This impressive South Island lake is a perfect getaway for all seasons. It’s perfect for boating and swimming in the summer, and tourists can stay warm in winter by bathing in nearby hot springs. A few hours’ drive from Christchurch, the area around this lake is also world-famous for its incredibly clear skies, so pay Lake Tekapo an overnight visit for some premier stargazing.

Emerald Lakes.

Including the Emerald Lakes technically makes this list total more than five. But these gems, nestled in the mountains of Mt Tongariro National Park, come as a set. Trails, hot springs and other beautiful works of nature surround this great collection of lakes. Take a hike around them or reach them by foot from virtually anywhere in the park.


Here’s a map to help you get your bearings:


Check out a short clip from our “On the Road” series, in which our intrepid host, Tim, shows you what Glenorchy, near Queenstown has to offer:

So if you’re interested in going on an adventurous trek through nature, these New Zealand lakes are the places for you. Grab your shoes, gear, and a motorhome with Mighway and experience on of these amazing lakes for yourself.