Lakes are rare in GOLDEN BAY’S lowlands. There are glacial lakes aplenty in our higher mountains while flooded sinkholes create small ponds in limestone country, but accessible lakes are few.
The two Kaihoka Lakes are set in a forested reserve and were created when windblown sand dunes, advancing inland from Kaihoka beach, blocked off the drainage from several small valleys. Some of the resulting lakes have now flooded over their sand barriers and, in draining, have turned into swamps. The two surviving lakes at Kaihoka are still slowly rising and will be with us for many centuries yet. A feature of the bush here is the massed presence of nikau palms, giving a subtropical appearance to the pleasant track which links the lakes. The coastal hills nearby form a dramatic backdrop to the lakes, rising steeply to castle-like crests eroded into tough limestone.