These attractive lakes, right by the road, are quite shallow and most of the shoreline is swampy and hidden by reeds. They are a great example of an inter-montane wetland system in New Zealand, and are nationally important for wildlife.
They were named after the indigenous people who used to fish here while making their way from the east to the west coast via the Ashburton Gorge while on the greenstone trail.
The Maori Lakes make a perfect spot to have a picnic, go fishing or watch waterbirds.
This lake is part of the Ashburton Lakes, a group of lakes located in the Hakatere Conservation Park including Lake Clearwater, Lake Camp, Lake Heron, Lake Emma, Lake Emily, Lake Denny, Lake Roundabout, Spider Lakes, and the Maori Lakes. Most of the lakes are easily accessed by gravel roads (from Hakatere Corner), however there are some that can only be accessed on foot or with a 4WD vehicle. The lakes are quite shallow which means they are warm in summer and often freeze over in winter. Fishing using starts on the 1st November and closes on 30th April.
This spectacular Canterbury high country is also a fantastic destination for non-water orientated activities including mountain biking, photography, hunting, hiking, tramping, walking, and bird-watching.