Our next outing is a Kiwidutch family day trip with my friend’s kids to meet another friend and his daughter at the Kai Iwi Lakes on Northland’s Kauri Coast.
Lake Taharoa is the largest of this small group of lakes, which typical to this section of New Zealand were formed as basic type dune lakes in consolidated sand.
A layer of impermeable ironstone pans sits beneath the consolidated sand layers and since the lakes have no natural intake or outlets, the lakes are replenished and depleted by a cycle of rainwater input and evaporation alone.
Lake Taharoa is New Zealand’s third largest dune lake (237ha / 585.6 acres) and Lake Waikere (35ha / 86.49 acres) and Lake Kai Iwi (33ha. / 81.54 acres) make up the popular camping and tourist area, well known for it’s shallow edged swimming waters and easy access for recreational water sports. Our friend recommend coming here because although the water is deep in the middle of the lakes, it’s possible to walk for a considerable distance from the edges and still have the water only be knee to waist deep on an adult.
Naturally this shallow water is warmer than the deeper water further out so both these things make the lakes very attractive for family holidays.
My friend’s girls lament the recent loss of many of the lakeside trees when we were there but the adult friend we met up with told us that the trees had been removed because they were not in good shape and were in grave danger of falling on tents and campers in high winds.
At Lakes Taharoa (37 meters /121.4 feet) and Waikere (30 meters / 98.43 feet) are the deepest known dune lakes in the country… Lake Kai Iwi is considerably shallower than the other two lakes and has a maximum recorded depth of 16 metres.
The adult friend we are meeting has a jet-ski and a disk ( what our american friends know as a “tube”) that he ties on and tows behind it.
Himself and Little Mr get in for a go but even with Little Mr safely on Himself’s lap, and both of course with life-jackets, Little Mr is still terrified because the jet-ski is goes too fast and despite hand signals to go slower there are a lot of bumps.
They come back to shore with a sobbing Little Mr. who’s very pleased to see dry land again. Himself thinks the jet-ski could have gone a lot slower… and we therefore veto my friends youngest daughter going out since we are responsible for her and her sisters today while her Mother catches up on some important business things back at the house. A small tantrum ensues but since the picnic lunch we took with us was demolished some time before the water activities commenced, we decide that it’s now an excellent moment to “discover” the ice-cream van that’s set up by the shore and wonder of wonders, this proposition smooths over tears very quickly indeed.
I’m missing the recently departed trees a lot as it’s baking hot and there’s no shade at all by the edge of the lake, so I take refuge in the van, have a nice rest and keep an eye on all the gear both parties have left around our vehicles.
Most of the photographs I took today were kid photo’s which for safety reasons I don’t wish to put on the internet, so here are a few I snared of the lakes themselves …