Waihora Lagoon


Waihora Lagoon. Photo: Karen Denyer.
Waihora Lagoon

This is a shallow ephemeral wetland in a completely natural setting surrounded by swamp forest - from sedges and herbs through to tall kahikatea and rimu trees.

‘Magical’ is the only word to describe the Waihora Lagoon when you see the tall trees reflected in the water.

Even when there is no water in the lagoon, it still has a special beauty.


Tall trees, reflections, tranquil setting.

Swamp forest

Swamp forests are periodically inundated with fresh water (rain water in the case of Waihora Lagoon). Kahikatea is the dominant tree of swamp forest growing densely on matted roots and silt, along with swamp maire, pukatea, cabbage tree/tī kōuka, pōkākā and occasionally rimu. Both kahikatea and pukatea have developed buttress roots to cope with long periods of standing in water.


Located west of Taupo.

Getting there

From State Highway 32 west of Taupo, turn into Waihora Road and travel 7 km on a gravel road (rough in places) then left into the car park.

Tracks and walks

It is a short 10 min walk from the car park to the lagoon.

There is a well-formed track with a boardwalk snaking through the trees to a platform beside the lagoon.

Plan and prepare


Find out more


Follow the Outdoor Safety Code:
1. Plan your trip
2. Tell someone
3. Be aware of the weather
4. Know your limits
5. Take sufficient supplies

Alerts for Waikato places


Te Kuiti Office
Phone:      +64 7 878 1050
Email:   tekuiti@doc.govt.nz
Full office details
Pureora Base
Phone:      +64 7 878 1080
Email:   pureora@doc.govt.nz
Full office details