21 Mind-Blowing Lakes in New Zealand

© Pixabay

What’s That Sound?

It’s the sound of your mind-blowing as you just feast your eyes on a majestic New Zealand lake. That might sound like a bit of an overkill, but you’ll definitely understand once you stand by the shore of one of New Zealand’s 3,820 lakes.

Lakes are a prominent feature that adds to the famous New Zealand scenery. In fact, New Zealand is full of stunning lakes so there is plenty to see while on a road trip. See brilliantly blue lakes caused by glacial melt, some of the clearest lakes there is, and sharp reflections in mirror lakes.

So until you get to see them all, just start dreaming by looking at these beautiful lake pictures.

1. Emerald Lake

Kicking off our list of the most stunning lakes in New Zealand is Emerald Lake. Rewarding in its beauty and the fact that it is a trek to get there, the Emerald Lake is near the summit of Mt Tongariro which was the setting for Mordor in The Lord Of The Rings trilogy. It can be seen while tramping the Tongariro Crossing. Find out how to get there with our Guide to the Tongariro Alpine Crossing.

Location: Tongariro National Park, North Island

21 Mind-Blowing Lakes in New Zealand© NZPocketGuide.com

2. Lake Quill

One of the many stunning aspects of Fiordland National Park, Lake Quill funnels into the famous Sutherland Falls. Hike to the lake or get the full picture with a scenic flight over Milford Sound. From the air this is probably the most stunning of all the New Zealand lakes.

Location: Fiordland National Park, South Island

 swifant© swifant

3. Lake Taupo

When it comes to New Zealand lakes there is one that just can’t be beaten. Lake Taupo is the largest lake in New Zealand, so large, in fact, that it is the size of Singapore. Check out New Zealand’s largest lakes in our article.

Location: Taupo, North Island

© www.lovetaupo.com

4. Lake Matheson

Otherwise known as the Mirror Lake. We are still trying to figure out why… Enjoy this lake on the Lake Matheson Loop Track just outside the Fox Glacier township. Find out more in Glacier Country – Guide for Backpackers.

Location: West Coast, South Island

NZPocketGuide.com© NZPocketGuide.com

5. Lake Tekapo

Next is the most photographed lake in New Zealand. Located in the Canterbury region on the South Island, Lake Tekapo is a hub for hydroelectricity and a site for stargazing. Check out what there is to do in Lake Tekapo in our Lake Tekapo – Guide for Backpackers.

Location: Tekapo, South Island

21 Mind-Blowing Lakes in New Zealand© Pixabay

6. Blue Lake

The water is so clear in this Nelson Lakes National Park lake that it has been reported to have a visibility of up to 80m! It’s a multi-day hike to get there, but the journey is worth it to see the clear lake with your own eyes.

Locations: Nelson Lakes National Park, South Island

Squashem© Squashem

7. Lake Mapourika

Lake Mapourika is a product of the Franz Josef Glacier on the West Coast. Its dark water produced by the tannins washed in the surrounding forests gives it its super reflective surface.

Location: West Coast, South Island

NZPocketGuide.com© NZPocketGuide.com

8. Lake Wanaka

This lake is especially characterised by the Wanaka Tree that emerges alone from the water. Thanks to that tree, Lake Wanaka is another contender for the title of the most photographed lake in New Zealand. Find out some awesome things to do in Wanaka in Wanaka – Guide for Backpackers.

Location: Wanaka, South Island

Pixabay© Pixabay

9. Lake Rotorua

Although Rotorua does not often come to mind when it comes to listing New Zealand lakes, the town borders a phenomenal lake named, well Lake Rotorua. In the town full of geothermal activity, Rotorua has the North Island’s second-largest lake. The water fills the crater of a large ancient volcano.

Location: Rotorua, North Island

21 Mind-Blowing Lakes in New Zealand© Julian Apse - Tourism New Zealand

10. Lake Wakatipu

By being the lake that the Adventure Capital of the World is built around, Lake Wakatipu is excessively used for water adrenalin activities. It sets a beautiful scene for Queenstown.

Location: Queenstown, South Island

Tourism NZ© Tourism NZ

11. Lake Hawea

Our next entry in the most awe-inspiring lakes in New Zealand is Lake Hawea. Not a natural beauty of New Zealand, as it has been artificially raised, yet it is still easy on the eyes.

Location: Otago, South Island

Yogi de at en.wikipedia© Yogi de at en.wikipedia

12. Lake Rotoiti

This easy-to-access lake is the most popular in the Nelson Lakes National Park. Check out the eels under the jetty and of course, a jetty jump photo is absolutely mandatory! Find out more about the Nelson Lakes National Park in Nelson Lakes National Park – Guide for Backpackers.

Location: Nelson Lakes National Park, South Island

21 Mind-Blowing Lakes in New Zealand© NZPocketGuide.com

13. Lake Pukaiki

Is there such a title as “the bluest New Zealand lake”? With a stunning Southern Alps backdrop behind a brilliant blue lake, Lake Pukaiki has to be one of the most stunning lakes in New Zealand. The drive along Lake Pukaiki to Aoraki My Cook Village will give you some of the best views.

Location: Aoraki Mt Cook National Park, South Island

21 Mind-Blowing Lakes in New Zealand© NZPocketGuide.com

14. Lake Alexandrina

A great spot for fishing, Lake Alexandrina is one of the quieter lakes in New Zealand. Find it in the Canterbury region of New Zealand. Lake Alexandrina may not be the most epic New Zealand lake but it surely is a relaxing spot to hang out at.

Location: Canterbury, New Zealand

21 Mind-Blowing Lakes in New Zealand© NZPocketGuide.com

15. Lake Waikaremoana

This huge lake is sacred to the local Maori people with lots of legends surrounding it. Another thing that surrounds it is the Lake Waikaremoana Great Walk. Beneath its surface lies a petrified forest created by the lake rising due to an earthquake some 2,000 years ago. Find out more in Te Urewera – Guide for Backpackers and 17 Stunning Lake Waikaremoana Walks.

Location: Te Urewera, North Island

21 Mind-Blowing Lakes in New Zealand© NZPocketGuide.com

16. Kai Iwi Lakes

Next on our list of the most beautiful lakes in New Zealand are a series of lakes. These pristine lakes in the Northland region of New Zealand are crystal clear and a great place for fishing and relaxing. Park up at the campgrounds and enjoy a night in this paradise.

Location: Northland, North Island

© NZPocketGuide.com

17. Lake Rotopounamu

And now, for an unknown and well-hidden New Zealand lake. Tucked away in the native forests of the Tongariro National Park, Lake Rotopounamu is a tranquil lake and a great place to spot some of New Zealand’s native birds. A loop track takes you around the perimeter of the lake. Find out more in Tongariro National Park Guide for Backpackers.

Location: Tongariro National Park, North Island

NZPocketGuide.com© NZPocketGuide.com

18. Tasman Glacier Lake

Next up is another glacial New Zealand lake. See this epic Tasman Glacier Terminal Lake from kayak, boat or by scenic flight. The mesmerising vibrant lake is a must-see in the Aoraki Mt Cook National Park!

Location: Aoraki Mt Cook National Park, South Island.

NZPocketGuide.com© NZPocketGuide.com

19. Lake Hauroko

This gem in the Fiordland National Park is the start of several jet boat trips going into the wild and wonderful Fiordland National Park. There are several walks around the area to really experience the beauty of this place.

Location: Fiordland National Park, South Island

NZPocketGuide.com© NZPocketGuide.com

20. Lake Te Anau

Lake Te Anau is the start of many adventures in the Fiordland National Park. Take a boat trip across the lake to the glowworm caves or take a water taxi to one of the 5 Incredible Multi-day Hikes in the Fiordland National Park.

Location: Southland, South Island

NZPocketGuide.com© NZPocketGuide.com

21. Lake Brunner

Wrapping up our list of the most stunning lakes in New Zealand is Lake Brunner. Lake Brunner is the central point to some awesome 10 Hikes Around Lake Brunner. Take a boat trip out on the lake or hike in its surrounding stands of ancient forest.

Location: West Coast, South Island

21 Mind-Blowing Lakes in New Zealand© NZPocketGuide.com

More Stunning Sights in New Zealand

With great lakes comes great lake activities. Check out the water sport activities that can be done in New Zealand, such as 5 Places to go Sailing and 7 Places to Jet Boat. Then check these articles:

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