RIVERS & LAKES
The forests of Waipoua comprise the garden of Tane Mahuta. Waipoua and the adjoining forests of Mataraua and Waima make up the largest remaining tract of native forest in Northland. Most of Northland’s ancient forest cover has been lost to saw and fire, plundered for the precious timber of the kauri tree or cleared for farmland. However, the forests are now under the protection of the Department of Conservation.
The maori translation of Waimamaku is "water from the black fern" - the black fern being the mamaku fern. It flows west from the Mataraua Forest, around the Waimamaku Village, to reach the Tasman Sea eight kilometres south of the mouth of the Hokianga Harbour. The water is relatively calm before it meets the crashing waves of Waimamaku beach, making it a pleasant spot for children and swimming. Access to the beach is easiest when the tide is out. There are also numerous idyllic swimming holes along the river.
The Waipoua River is a river of the Northland Region of New Zealand's North Island. It flows generally west from its sources in the Parataiko Range to reach the Tasman Sea 15 kilometres southeast of the mouth of the Hokianga Harbour. Much of the river's length is through the Waipoua Kauri Forest. The untouched beauty of the original mature trees and ferns along the rivers' edge are exactly as nature intended.
There is a great camping site and cafe at Te Rora.
KAI IWI LAKES
The Taharoa domain is a 538 ha recreation reserve containing three freshwater lakes known as the Kai Iwi Lakes. Dream of a place of sheer beauty that was created more than 1.8 million years ago for the delight of kiwi campers, and you have the Kai Iwi Lakes - crystal clear freshwater lakes with spectacular white sand that feels like velvet underfoot.. These pristine dune lakes are located 40 minutes south of Waimamaku, through the Waipoua Forest. Cycle the lake perimeter. Freshwater fishing is available.
Waiotemarama in Maori means “waters of the moon”. The cold, high bluffs of Waima Forest are home to rare woody plants found nowhere else, including karamu (Coprosma waima), a tree daisy (Olearia crebra) and a very recently discovered tree – Turoa onamata (Ackama nubicola). These plants are thought to be relics of a past ice age.
There are two waterfall walking options by turning east off the Wekaweka track before reaching the plateau by following tree markers, these will take you to your choice of two waterfalls. The water comes straight out of the Matarua Forest and is the original source of the Waimamaku River. The water is pristine.