Travel & Expat Lifestyle Magazine

Navigating the Lakes of New Zealand

lake taupo

Lake Taupo

Lake Taupo is the biggest lake in New Zealand, and is also the largest freshwater lake of Oceania. It is located in Waikato, and is 616 square kilometers (238 square miles) in size, which is about the size of Singapore. There are many trout fisheries in Lake Taupo, and they have recently introduced brown trout and rainbow trout. It is drained by the Waikato River; the Waitahanui River, the Tongariro River and the Tauranga-Taupo River all go into Lake Taupo. It is a huge tourist destination, with a nice temperate climate. People hold sporting events on the lake, like the Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge, a famous bicycle trip around its proximity.


Lake Te Anau

Lake Te Anau is the largest lake in the South Island, taking up 344 square kilometers (133 square miles). Its name comes from the Maori word, “Te Ana-au,” which means “the cave of swirling water.” In terms of its freshwater volume, it can be considered the largest lake of Australasia. The lake has an interesting topographical shape, with three large fjords stretching to the west. They are named North Fiord, Middle Fiord and South Fiord. The main river that flows into Lake Te Anau is the Eglinton River, and the main river that flows th water out is the Waiau River. The land around the lake is mountainous and largely uninhabited, but it is a great place to visit if you relocate to New Zealand.


Lake Wakatipu

Lake Wakatipu is located in the Otago region, close to Southland, and is an area of 291 square kilometers (112 square miles). It is a narrow finger lake that looks like a large backwards “N” in shape, and is New Zealand’s longest lake, stretching 80 kilometers. The Dart River flows into the northern part of the lake, and then it is drained by the Kawarau River. It is a very beautiful lake, surrounded by mountains, and in proximity to vineyards. Lots of people go to Lake Wakatipu to do sports like paragliding and bungy jumping.


Lake Wanaka

Located in Otago, Lake Wanaka takes up 192 square kilometers (74 square miles). It is located in a U-shaped valley, and there are very high mountains on the western shore and moderately high mountains on the eastern shore. The town of Wanaka is situated on this lake. This lake flows out into the Clutha River, but it takes water in from Matukituki and Makarora Rivers. There are some sheep farmers in proximity to Lake Wanaka, and many people go to this greater region for adventure sports, jetboating and skiing.


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