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Kai Iwi Lakes: The Jewels Of Northland, New Zealand

The Kai Iwi Lakes, often known as the jewels of Northland, is a summertime favorite in Northland and one of the top vacation destinations in all of New Zealand. Sandy beaches, a campground close to the water, safe swimming, kayaking, water skiing, white sand, fishing, and stars are all available.

Kai Iwi Lakes: The Jewels Of Northland, New Zealand


One of the best vacation locations in New Zealand is Kai Iwi Lakes at Taharoa Domain. 35 kilometers from Dargaville, three hours from Auckland. White sand, freshwater dune lakes that are known for their jewel-like beauty, and clean waters are located within a 538-hectare top recreation area.

Three freshwater dune lakes, Taharoa, Waikere, and Lake Kai Iwi, make up the 538-hectare Taharoa Domain, a top recreation area close to Dargaville on the Kauri Coast of Northland. They are incredibly gorgeous. The lakes are examples of dune lakes, which are created when rainfall fills hollows between dunes carved out by the wind.

The three lakes, which were formed more than 1.8 million years ago during the Pleistocene Epoch, are among the biggest and deepest dune lakes in Aotearoa, New Zealand (Taharoa and Waikere are both up to 37 meters deep).

Kai Iwi means “food for the people” in te reo Maori.

You Can Do Many Things Here!


Bring the family, the tent, the kayaks, the windsurfer, the fishing and diving equipment, the boat, the water skis, the surf ski, and of course, your swimsuit.

And what a great spot to swim – these deep dune lakes are bordered by warm shallow water just perfect for kids to run and splash in or for refreshing yourself after a peaceful afternoon in a deck chair perched on the fine dunes with the flowing waves lapping at your feet.

The guilt of overindulgence from evening gatherings spent with new friends from other tent sites cooking up a feast from the day’s catch is relieved by cycling around the lake’s perimeters or hiking over fields to the ocean.

The lakes are alive with koura, crabs, freshwater mussels, native fish, and exotic fish in addition to exquisite rainbow trout. A wonderful play area.

The reserve has constructed a vast network of walking trails. Visitors to the region can also use covered camping and picnic areas. The Tasman Sea is 2.5 kilometers away from the Taharoa Domain. West of the domain, a neighboring agricultural property provides walkway access to the coast. 8 kilometers to the south, in Omamari, is the closest road access to the coast.

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How To Get There

The Lakes, situated far north of New Zealand’s North Island, are about 30 kilometers northwest of Dargaville along State Highway 12 and three hours by road from Auckland. To get to Kai Iwi Lakes Road, look for the little settlement of Kaihu and a signposted turnoff at Omamari Road.

The Twin Coast Discovery Tourist Route passes via the Kai Iwi Lakes. The Northland surf beaches on the Tasman Sea are not far from the lakes either.

Swimming in Kai Iwi Lakes


The Kai Iwi Lakes’ glistening waters are perfect for swimming. Families with young children will appreciate the warm, shallow edges. As the water becomes deeper, be careful because it’s so clear that looking down might make some people dizzy.

In order to keep everyone safe, boats are permitted in the lakes, but they must go by the Normal Maritime Rules, which state that they cannot travel faster than 5 knots if they are within 200 meters of the coast.

Fishing in Kai Iwi Lakes


Since practically every year since 1968, rainbow trout have been discharged into the lakes, one of the main trout fisheries in New Zealand’s Northland Fish and Game Region.

Fly fishing, trolling, and boat fishing are all particularly effective methods of fishing in Lake Taharoa.

Try your luck while the moon is out since the lakes are so clean that light penetrates the water and makes the contour of your fly resemble a genuine fly’s silhouette.

Camping in Kai Iwi Lakes


At the Kai Iwi Lakes, there are two camping options available: Pine Beach campground and Promenade Point. Both are situated on a lovely beach along the lake’s foreshore and provide camping options for tents, RVs, or motorhomes.

Both campgrounds feature a stringent no-pets rule due to the area’s sensitive native animals.

On the eastern bank of Lake Taharoa, the Pine Beach campground has both unpowered and powered sites. It is a little less primitive, having two flushing restrooms, showers, camp workers nearby, and a playground.

There are just unpowered sites in the Promenade Point campground on the western shore. There are new restrooms, but there are no showers.

Do the lakes charge admission?

If you are not camping, no. The lakes are free to enjoy for day visitors, which is good for one of the top Northland attractions.

Kai Iwi Lakes is one of the best places in New Zealand for summer fun. Through this article, we showed you some information and things to do here. Please give your feedback by leaving a comment below!

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