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Rivers and lakes

Ngaa Awa me Ngaa Roto

The Waikato River flowing through Ngaruawahia

We have a number of rivers and lakes throughout the district that are managed by either the Waikato District Council or the Department of Conservation.

Waikato District Council manages the following lakes:

Horsham Downs and Rotokauri

Lake Kainui and Lake Rotokauri are peat lakes that provide recreational opportunities and also have important ecological values.

  • Lake Kainui is located in Horsham Downs and is available for fishing, hunting, and some on-water recreational activities. Access key is $120.00 per season (October-May) - $21.00 refundable on return of key. Please note that keys are only required for those accessing the boat ramp. The walking path may be used by the public with no need for a key.
    PLEASE NOTE: Access to carpark and track are closed during duck hunting season. You may enter at your own risk.
    View on Google maps

  • Lake Rotokauri is a popular venue for walking and other passive activities, such as picnicking.
    View on Google maps


Huntly contains three Council managed lakes, which can be used for recreational activities.

  • Lake Puketirini is a newly formed lake that has been developed from a disused coal-mined pit, and is now part of Puketirini, a Waikato District Council owned park. Lake Puketirini is available for activities such as kayaking, waka ama, boating, and water-skiing. Walking and cycling around the lake are also popular recreational activities. This lake has very good water quality. Recreational boating - access key $100.00 per season (October-May) - $21.00 refundable on return of key.
    View on Google maps

  • Lake Waahi is popular for boating activities and picnicking.
    View on Google maps

  • Lake Hakanoa is often used for fishing and walking.
    View on Google maps

For information about non-Council managed lakes contact the Department of Conservation and for information regarding the management of lakes within the Waikato region contact the Waikato Regional Council.

Water quality

Waikato Regional Council carries out regular water quality testing in the district during summer. Check the link below to see if it's okay to swim.

Can I swim here?

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