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Most Beautiful New Zealand Lakes

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New Zealand is a drop dead gorgeous country. Its unspoiled beauty is its biggest asset. Right from the soaring mountains to the pristine coastlines, New Zealand leaves an everlasting impression with its stunning landscape. But, the things that evoke awe in an instant are the nearly 4000 New Zealand lakes.

No matter which part of the country you are in, you can feast your eyes on the magnificence of some sparkling blue, or green, waters. And, the tranquility you are greeted with at these lakes is soul soothing.

So, if you want to take away the best of New Zealand in your heart, click picture perfect photographs and need some time amidst such beautiful scenery to reflect upon life, then you need to check out these amazing lakes.

Lake Taupo

Sitting smack dab in the heart of North Island, Lake Taupo is the largest lake in New Zealand. The lake is not only beautiful but also holds cultural significance to the Maori. Thus, a trip to this lake is not just an introduction to the staggering rock formations but to the Maori culture as well. Emerging from the face of the earth as a result of volcanic eruption, today, the lake has become a crowd puller for its sheer charm. Offering sweeping views of the Tongariro Crossing, the lake is a hotspot for many adventure activities. Skydiving, bungee jumping, whitewater rafting – the lake provides an opportunity for you to indulge in it all.

lake taupo maori rock carvings
See the Maori Rock Carvings on Lake Taupo

Emerald Lakes

If seeing the Tongariro Crossing from Lake Taupo made you want to visit then do the crossing and you’ll see the amazing Emerald Lakes. Just a glimpse at these colourful lakes will please you. The lakes gets their colour because of geothermal activity and the minerals from the mountains that get dissolved in it. To see them, you will have to hike up the mountain on a rocky terrain known as the “Devil’s Staircase.” But, the hike is worth all the effort given that the scenery is matchless.

emerald lakes new zealand
By Marcus Holland-Moritz (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mhx/16965192965/) [CC BY-SA 2.0 ], via Wikimedia Commons

Lake Rotoiti

Dominated by the towering Mt. Robert and skirted by a beech forest, Lake Rotoiti is situated in the Nelson Lakes National Park. Trek through the historical forest to arrive at this lake. Discovered by Ihenga, this glacier fed lake is perfect for fishing, boating, hiking or just spending time outdoors with nature. Upon its discovery, the lake was supposedly thought to be small but it is in fact a large body of water that is picturesque in every sense of the word.

Also located in Nelson Lakes National Park is the stunning Blue Lake – Lake Rotomairewhenua which has the clearest natural water in the world.

nelson lakes national park
Lake Rotoiti Nelson Lakes National Park

Lake Quill

The mere location of Lake Quill is enough to amaze you. Perched high up on the mountains in the Fiordland National Park from where it funnels in to the Sutherland Falls, Lake Quill is a nature’s marvel. To reach this lake and see the beauty of the crystal clear glacial water lake, you’ll have to take a helicopter ride. However, hiking up the Milford track will give you a good glimpse of this lake that looks like it was taken straight out of a fairytale book.

Lake Wanaka

South Island lakes are famous for how scenic they are and that is true for Lake Wanaka as well. Fringed by mountain ranges, the crystal clear water of the lake is sure to tug at your heartstrings. A walk on the spectacular shores of the lake takes you to Mt. Aspiring National Park. The noteworthy lonely Wanaka tree in the lake set against the backdrop of the Southern Alps is a pleasing sight to behold. Lounging by the shore of the lake and witnessing sunrise or sunset will be one of the best memories of your trip to New Zealand.

lake wanaka
The beautiful Lake Wanaka

Lake Wakatipu

Sprawling across an area of 52 miles, Lake Wakatipu is the longest lake in South Island, New Zealand. Rimmed by the Southern Alps and The Remarkables mountains, this inland lake, in the shape of a lightning bolt, has an allure that increases in intensity by the minute. Carved by a glacier thousands of years ago, the lake is perfect for adventure enthusiasts who want to indulge in activities such as paddleboarding and kayaking. A word of caution – the water is extremely cold. So, watch out!

the view from queenstown hill
Lake Wakatipu from Queenstown Hill

Lake Ohau

Occupying a spot between Queenstown and Christchurch, Lake Ohua is one of the most underrated lakes in the whole of New Zealand. But, those who have visited cannot stop gushing over its beauty. The snowcapped mountains as the backdrop lend this lake a majestic appearance. The mountains are frequented by snowboarders and skiers as well as mountain bikers in large numbers. And, much of it can be credited to the presence of the lake as the descent from the slopes treats these adventurers to spellbinding views. Adventure coupled with natural beauty? It couldn’t get better than that, right?!

Lake Pukaki

The stellar backdrop of Mt. Cook raises the beauty quotient of this alpine lake. The intense blue colour of the lake comes from the glacial waters. While the mountains lure in adventure enthusiasts, the surrounding areas attract star gazers, cyclists and those looking for solitude in the lap of nature. Its undisputed beauty persuaded Sir Peter Jackson to choose this lake & region as the backdrop for shooting a scene in his movie – The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.

lake pukaki south island national parks of new zealand mount cook
Lake Pukaki in Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park – location of Lake-town in The Hobbit Trilogy – in autumn is a spectacular vision of golden trees contrasted against opaque turquoise waters and the snow-covered Southern Alps. Credit: Tourism New Zealand / Rob Suisted

Lake Hawea

Stretching about 12 miles along the mountains, Lake Hawea is quite close to Wanaka. The lake has often been dubbed as an adventurers’ paradise for being a playground for many adventure activities. You can indulge in boating, kayaking, kitesurfing and fishing. But, for those who are looking for a spot to just lounge by the lake can always have their alone time with nature here as well.

The New Zealand lakes are the crowning jewels in its already beautiful persona. And, you must not miss these on your trip to the Kiwiland. So, when you book cheap flights to New Zealand, make sure you work out your itinerary to include some of these lakes on your trip.

Make sure you also check out New Zealands National Parks

Author: Isabella Jones. A full-time travel writer, the journey till here was not a cake walk for Isabella. Once, a corporate slave with robotic reflexes, she chose to break through. Her undying love for travel, writing, and being crazy has gotten her a step closer to her dream. The dream to be a free bird. Now she flies around the world and essays chronicles of her adventures. She’s from New York.

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