Kai Iwi Lakes Northland

Kai Iwi Lakes Camping

The ​Kai Iwi Lakes are located just south of the Waipoua Forest and around 35kms north of Dargaville in Northland New Zealand, there are actually three lakes, Lake Taharoa the largest lake, Lake Kai iwi and Lake Waikere all three lakes are accessible from the Kai iwi lakes road.

Kai Iwi Lakes History

The area has a rich history for gum digging, a settlement was located on the shores of Lake Tahaora along with a general store to supply the early gum diggers with much needed supplies of food and other essentials, and in 1908 a much larger camp was established near Johnsons Swamp to the south of Kai Iwi Lake.

The gum was not sourced from the earth but rather from the lakes themselves and in the early 1900s the Hall brothers made an attempt to drain Lake Kai Iwi and a canal was dug by hand to drain the water into the Johnsons swamp.

The Kai Iwi Lakes reserve was set up in 1928 by the crown which set aside 8.5 hectares on the eastern side of Lake Tahoroa for the purpose of a scenic reserve, and in 1968 the remaining Lakes and surrounding land were incorporated into the reserve. 

Kai Iwi Lakes Camping

The lakes are popular in the summer months with the water skiing community, Lake Taharoa boosts two camping grounds the largest is at Pine Beach located at the end of Domain road and runs along the lake shore to a fantastic white sand beach the camp ground can accommodate around 400 campers.

The second camp ground is located at Promenade Point and is much smaller than Pine Beach camp ground and can accommodate around 100 people, bookings are required all year round and there is no freedom camping permitted at all with in the Kai iwi lakes area.

The lakes are also a popular trout fishing destination for the far north and are stoked regularly with rainbow trout, this is as north that you will find rainbow trout in New Zealand.

The water in the lakes are crystal clear and free from sediments making the place ideal for a trout fishery. the lake level rises and falls depending on the season as they are not feed by any rivers entering the lakes only rainfall.

Lake Taharoa Loop Walk

Lake Taharoa and Lake Kai iwi both have a loop walk that follows the lake edge the tracks are all sand based so are accessible in most weather conditions, the loop walk around Lake Taharoa is around 8kms long and through scrub land and native bush, there are numerous opportunities to walk along the pure white sandy beaches that are scattered along this beautiful walkway.

Coastal Walkway

Located at Kai Iwi Lakes there is a coastal walk way, the start is sign posted on the left hand side of the road just past Lake Waikere, the walk is over private land permission is granted to cross the land as long as you keep to the track the walk takes you out to the wild west coast beach of Ripiro, the walk will take around 4 hrs return so take plenty of provisions like water during the summer months.

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