The high Alps, sapphire lakes, lush forests… New Zealand has everything to set every nature lover’s heart ablaze. And to add to this scenery, it also has the largest collection of most beautiful rivers in the world. Pure natural beauty at its best, these lakes are famous for their serene aura and mysteriousness that attracts everyone to the rippling waters.
From cold waters to hot springs, muddy waters to sparkling surfaces, each of these lakes has only one thing in common, and that is unparalleled natural beauty. Spread across the country and several national parks, these destinations offer fun and adventurous activities like swimming, fishing, skydiving, horseback riding, and even cruises!
lakes in new zealand
If you are a nature-lover or a peace-seeker, the gorgeous and serene lakes of New Zealand will leave you speechless. Be sure to check them out during your trip to New Zealand.
1. Lake Wakatipu
One of New Zealand’s famous lakes, and the gem of Queenstown, Lake Wakatipu is a lightning bolt-shaped lake. Surrounded by majestic mountains, this lake is like a small heaven. There are many legends about this lake, the most intriguing of which is that of a monster, Matau, who lies in deep sleep at the bottom of the lake.
activities:cruising, trout fishing, swimming, photography, kayaking
2. Lake Wanaka
Lake Wanaka, New Zealand, lies at the foothills of the mesmerizing Alps of the South Island. Known for its stunning natural beauty and range of activities amidst nature, this lake is visited by people from all over the world. It is quite close to the famous Mount Aspiring National Park, and hence a base for adventure seekers.
activities: water sports, skiing, climbing, cycling, hiking
Must read: 15 Waterfalls in New Zealand That Will Leave You Speechless
3. Lake Tekapo
Of all the lakes and rivers in New Zealand, Lake Tekapo is one for those interested in sightseeing. Apart from the unique beauty of New Zealand’s second largest lake, there are many places around it that are worth visiting. Lake Tekapo is one of the best attractions for New Zealand tourists. If you’ve heard of the UNESCO Dark Sky Reserve, you’ll know that this lake is a part of it, and stargazing here is an absolute experience!
activities: Stargazing, Sightseeing, Skiing
4. Lake Pukaki
Overlooking Mount Cook, New Zealand’s highest peak, Lake Pukaki is a popular destination for nature lovers. This is a must visit for those who want to experience the most beautiful scenery in New Zealand! It would also be interesting to know that this place was featured in the famous Lord of the Rings film series.
activities: stargazing, cycling, winter snow sports, hiking
Read suggestions: 6 Water Parks in New Zealand for an Exciting Relaxation
5. Hawaiya Lake
Lake Hawea is a famous lakeside resort with a wonderful resort. One of the best places for water sports and other activities, tourists flock here every peak season to make the most of the water and views!
activities: Water sports, skiing, swimming, sailing, fishing, kite surfing, paragliding, wind surfing
6. Matheson Lake
In contrast to the blue beauty of other lakes, Matheson Lake has dark brown waters that perfectly reflect New Zealand’s high peaks on the best of days. Home to a variety of water birds, it is a bird watcher’s paradise. If it’s a clear day and you’re nearby, be sure to visit the lake to see the heavenly reflection of Mount Cook and Mount Tasman in the lake. In the darkness of the lake you will also find native long-finned eels and other native water birds.
activities: Bird watching, nature walks, photography
Read suggestions: 20 Best Beaches in New Zealand for a Lazy Romantic Vacation
7. Emerald Lakes
Located on the famous Tongariro Alpine Crossing, these emerald pools are a sight for sore eyes. The picturesque volcano offers stunning views that tourists and locals love to visit. Trekking is one of the most favorite activities here. It is basically an explosion crater near Mount Tongariro that has filled with water. The sapphire color of the lake is due to the minerals dissolved in the water. This is one of best lakes in new zealand To go on your journey.
activities: tracking, photography
8. Lake Taupo
Lake Taupo New Zealand is known as the country’s largest lake offering spectacular views of the soaring mountains and expanse of nature of the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. A popular place for thrill seekers, many people come here for thrilling activities. Here’s a fun fact: The size of the lake is as big as the country of Singapore. So, you can get an idea of its immense beauty.
activities: Geothermal Hot Pools, Cruising, Sky Diving, Bungee Jumping, Water Sports, White Water Rafting, Biking, Hiking, Trout Fishing, Skiing
Read suggestions: 6 New Zealand resorts that are beyond luxury, yet light on the pocket!
9. Mahinapua Lake
Lake Mahinapua is a tranquil water body perfect for tranquil picnics and one-day trips. The shallow water makes it suitable for children, as well as the population of birds such as swans, ducks and parrots. Just around the southern shore is a West Coast Treetop Walkway from where you get a bird’s eye view of the lake. You can also swim in the warm waters of the lake. It is very soothing.
activities: Camping, Water Sports, Picnic
10. Lake Ohau
Part of the South Island’s Mackenzie Basin, Lake Ohau is a spectacular beauty. One of New Zealand’s glacial lakes, its constantly frozen waters have been attracting people for years. With a few resorts and lodges here, it has become a popular spot for skiing. If you want to enjoy a high-country experience in New Zealand, this is where you should come. Its peaceful environment and abundant nature will win your heart.
activities: skiing, hiking
Read suggestions: The Nevis Catapult in New Zealand turns you into a catapult and launches you for the craziest jump ever
11. Champagne Pool
Unlike the cold waters of Lake Ohau, Champagne Pool is a hot spring. The bubbling of this lake like champagne is beautiful to see. With a history of 900 years, the view of silicate formations on the shore, rich flora and fauna as well as minerals makes this site very vibrant. Don’t take the name literally and don’t drink its water. It may sound bubbly but it is unsuitable for eating and even swimming. You may not even want to touch the water because it contains toxic minerals.
activities: Sightseeing, Picnic
12. Lake Moke
A small lake perfect for some fun with friends and family, Lake Moke is frequented by locals during the summer. Many recreational activities are offered here for children as well as adults. Located near the Closeburn suburb in Queenstown, it is one of the best places to venture into mountain biking. The lake is surrounded by the tussock-covered peaks and undulating beauty of Ben Lomond, Ben More and Mount Hanley. On clear days, it becomes a paradise for nature photographers.
activities: swimming, camping, horse riding, sailing
Read suggestions: 10 churches in New Zealand that are absolutely stunning pieces of architecture
13. Paringa Lake
A small oasis compared to New Zealand’s other lakes, misty Lake Paringa is one of the best lakes in the country. There are lodges nearby for those who come here for a day trip. You will also find a lodge near the lake where you can spend a night or two. This is a great place for those who want to get away from everything and go into the wilderness. There is even a boutique café in the north where you can enjoy delicious salmon dishes.
activities: fishing, hunting, camping
Read suggestions: Summer in Auckland: Your personal guide to visiting this New Zealand city
14. Mirror Lakes
The surface of the calm waters on a perfect day, and the Earl Mountains reflected in them…this beautiful sight has given these lakes their name. Are they a group of lakes, or really? Maybe go to the lake to break the illusion. This is a great stop on the way to Milford Sound and people come here to capture the quiet and peaceful moments.
activities: Photography, walking in nature
15. Diagonal Lake
Lake Haurako is a nice, long ‘S’ shaped lake that is famous for being the deepest lake in New Zealand. Located in the valley of the Fiord-Land National Park, it is one of the most spectacular and deepest lakes in the country. It is also a playground for water activities and fishing. The picturesque view around the lake looks right out of a postcard.
activities: tracking, photography
read ahead: 10 Luxury Villas in New Zealand That Display True Beauty!
Some other lakes you may be interested in are Lake Quill, Lake Rotorua, Lake Te Anau, Lake Manapouri and Lake Dunstan. Traveling to New Zealand gives you the opportunity to explore a beautiful country full of abundant natural beauty. There are many lakes here, each lake is more special than the other! Plan one of these trips for some time amidst nature.
FAQs about lakes in New Zealand
What are the most famous lakes located in New Zealand?
New Zealand is blessed with some of the most beautiful lakes in the entire world. Some of the famous lakes located there are Lake Wakatipu, Lake Wanaka, Lake Tekapo, Lake Pukaki and many others.
What are some of the most beautiful lakes located in New Zealand?
Most of the lakes in New Zealand are mesmerizingly beautiful. Some of the famous lakes are Lake Hauroko, Lake Paringa, Lake Moke, Champagne Pool and many more.
Which lake in New Zealand has the highest peak?
Lake Pukaki is very popular in New Zealand because the country’s highest peak is located there.
What daily activities do tourists participate in in New Zealand?
Many people in New Zealand like to participate in many activities at the lake. Some of them are kayaking, cycling, stargazing, hiking, and much more.
Which lake in New Zealand is completely sapphire coloured?
New Zealand’s Emerald Lake is famous in the world due to its sapphire blue color. The reason behind this color is the intense concentration of minerals.
Which lake in New Zealand has a geothermal pool?
There is a geothermal hot pool at Lame Taupo in New Zealand, and the size of the lake is enormous.
How many days are enough to visit New Zealand?
You can tour all of New Zealand in fourteen days. If you do not have much time, you can cover that area within twelve days.
Are you looking to book an international honeymoon?
Book a memorable honeymoon on TourTravelHotels with 650+ verified travel agents for 65+ domestic and international destinations.