If that image of a peaceful lake mirroring wondering peaks is stuck on your mind, then you have a good reason to visit New Zealand. More than 4.000 lakes cover the country, from the Southern alpine scenery to the volcanic Northern Island. And it’s no secret that some are hard to reach, but the most beautiful lakes in New Zealand are worth the effort.
The Most Beautiful Lakes in New Zealand: South Island
One of the most fascinating things about the lakes in New Zealand is their glaciar origins. It’s like you’re time travelling all the way back to the Ice Age. Isn’t it exciting, to be able to testify to nature’s power?
Only one hour drive from Queenstown, Lake Wanaka mirrors the stunning scenery of Otago region. This is a great base for a family holiday, with options from peaceful picnics to ski fields nearby. And don’t forget your picture with the whimsical Wanaka tree in the background.
Check with us all the possible activities to do, while visiting one of the most beautiful lakes in New Zealand.
Te Anau and Mirror Lakes, Fiordland National Park
A magical roadtrip awaits you on the way to Milford Sound, along the trimmed shores of Lake Te Anau. Start by booking a boat cruise to wonder at the towering fiordes and discover some hidden gems. Soon you will be floating in complete darkness, only to be mesmerized by the glowworms glittering in a cave’s ceiling.
When you’re back on the road again, make sure to stop by Mirror Lakes to your left. On a wind free day, you will love how Earl Mountains reflect beautifully in the water.
Located in the rural region of Canterbury, Lake Tekapo needs to be on your list. The cold and turquoise water tell its birth story, when huge glaciers melted into the valley over 15.000 years ago.
If you’re looking for a getaway to unplug, this is the place. There, you’ll find an ideal contemplation spot, at the picturesque Church of the Good Shepherd. Although the truly spiritual moment is beneath the star covered sky. We recommend you to visit in December, when the nearby shores are full of blooming lupins.
The Most Beautiful Lakes in New Zealand: North Island
This is an exciting one, not only for being the largest lake in New Zealand but also because it sits on a dormant volcano. Located right in the heart of the North Island, it is known for good trout fishing. It’s also home to Ironman NZ, arguably one of the most intense ways to experience the lake.
The thundering surroundings puts it in the list of one of the most beautiful lakes in New Zealand. You’ll see what we mean, once you get up close to the Huka Falls. You can either walk, bike or take a boat ride there, depending on your adrenaline-seeker level. And don’t worry about the steamy hot springs around, the local tribe has everything under control. Take a sailing boat to the Maori Rock Carvings, and discover all about the Maori legends.
Emerald Lakes, Mt Tongariro
If you’re a fan of “Lord of the Rings”, you probably have had this one on your list for some time. For to reach the unique Emerald Lakes, you will need to cross “Mordor” a.k.a. The Tongariro Alpine Cross.
Get your hiking boots and you’re ready for one of the best day hikes in New Zealand. The otherworldly landscape, with steep tracks sprinkled with rocks, is a UNESCO dual World Heritage Area. As you descend the Red Crater, so do the minerals that give the lakes below their emerald hue. This is a once in a lifetime experience, so give us a shout to check weather conditions and book you the best tour.
Experience the wilderness of the most beautiful lakes in New Zealand and discover 100 other things we love about this country here.