This tranquil lake is now a mainland island, so a good spot to spot birds such as spotless crake.
Opouahi Scenic Reserve is 3.6 km from the junction of Pohokura Road and Matahoura Road. There is a raised parking area on the right, which leads to a picnic shelter and lake side parking area behind the knoll. Toilets are signposted on the western side of the lake.
Following the loop anticlockwise, the eastern track hugs the lake margin closely. The laps of the wavelets on the overhanging branches accompany the sounds of kereru and the wind in the tree tops.
At the northern end of the lake the track traverses a swampy area, although the track surface remains mostly dry.
The western section stays slightly aloft from the lake edge passing through a forest with the sounds of kereru disturbing the foliage.
The lake covers 6.27 hectares and is surrounded by native vegetation including secondary growth of ferns, tutu and manuka. It is a natural depression in the topography and has filled with stream water since a slip blocked the water course.
The lake is up to 24 metres deep and was formed by a large slip damming the Te Awatamatea Stream. The area was once in forest, evidenced by the submerged trees.
A predator proof fence has been constructed around the lake. This 3.2 km fence provides 40 hectares of safe habitat for North Island brown kiwi chicks while they gain size to defend themselves against the attack of stoats. The availability of the water, small size of the reserve and proximity to Boundary Stream Mainland Island were the reasons put forward for Lake Opouahi.
Look for the occasional spotless crake, known to inhabit this rare wetland.
Early Maori inhabitants constructed Kokopura Pa, a collection of thatched whare, huts and meeting houses, 1 k to the north-west. They took advantage of the eels and lofty viewpoint. Seabirds breed on the Maungahaururu range and were collected by Maori as a food source. The range was a communal area for various hapu such as Ngati Hineuru of Te Haroto and coastal tribes such as Pahauwera, who traded kereru, dried fish and shellfish. A pa site was established at Kokopura near Lake Opouahi.
North Island ▷ Hawkes Bay ▷ Tutira
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Thanks to all the good people working for the NZ Department of Conservation - for all your hard work - making NZ more beautiful, accessable and healthy! Cheers 😍