See & Do

Lake Mahinapua

Lake Mahinapua is our tranquil lake compared to Lake Kaniere. 10kms south of Hokitika, it is surrounded by native bush and has a roomy DoC campground.

Lake Mahinapua Activities

  • Once a coastal lagoon it is a lovely place for a swim, the water is surprisingly warm. Families love it as there is a suitable wading area for young children and bigger kids love jumping off the jetty or launching a canoe to explore.
  • Fishing is best done from a boat, with perch and brown trout plentiful.
  • Birdwatchers are likely to see black swans and grey and mallard ducks. In season you could also spot a magnificent white heron, or if you are lucky the rare fern bird.
  • There are a number of short walks that are very accessible for children, or for a longer adventure try the two hour Mahinapua walkway which traverses board-walked wetlands and forest which follows an historic logging tramway.
  • Mountain bikers are welcome to enjoy tracks here too.

Browse the listings below to learn more about Lake Mahinapua. 

See & Do

Wilderness Rafting Adventures
PH: 03 755 4254 E: FREEPH: 0508 669 675

Whitewater rafting tours from easy to extreme, half, full and multi day expeditions. Helicopter, drive in or hike in options available.  Heli-raft the Whataroa river, the Grand Canyon of NZ or chose from over 15 other rivers across the coast. All equipment provided, fully catered trips.

West Coast Scenic Waterways
PH: (03) 429 2322 E: MOBILE: 027 430 1777
Enjoy freedom kayaking or a cruise aboard the Eco Adventurer. Capture the picturesque beauty of the Mahinapua waterways along the original route used by pioneers, gold diggers and early explorers. Experience majestic views of Mt.Cook and the Southern Alps and outstanding West Coast flora, fauna and native rain forests.

Lake Mahinapua "Have-a-Go"

Date : In Feb every year - 2018 dates to be confirmed
LOCATION : Lake Mahinapua

The Lake Mahinapua Aquatic Club celebrates national Volvo Sailing and Boating Week with its annual regatta. The weekend includes racing for yachts big and small followed by 'have-a-go' sessions for members of the public from 3pm Saturday and 12pm Sunday. 

Bellbird Walk

LOCATION : Lake Mahinapua

EASY - Buggies/Strollers ok
Time: 10 minute loop
Access: At southern end of camping area
Features: Pretty sand dune forest & circles an old black sand gold dredge pond. Abundant wildlife.

Jum Michel Track - Walk

LOCATION : Lake Mahinapua

EASY - Buggies/Strollers ok
Time: 15 minutes one way
Access: From lake access road. Ends close to camping area
Features: Tree ferns, kamahi & totara forest on old sand dunes. Small panels identify tree and shrub species. Fun for the kids.

Mananui Bush & Beach Walk

LOCATION : Lake Mahinapua

EASY - Buggies/Strollers ok
Time: 20 minutes return.
Access: Carpark 9km south of Hokitika just off SH6.
Features: Intriguing walk through rare remnant of sand dune totara forest. Wonderful lonely driftwood-strewn beach.

Mananui Tramline / Mahinapua Walkway - Walk

LOCATION : Lake Mahinapua

EASY-MODERATE - Buggies/Strollers ok
Time: 2 hours one way. 6 km
Access: 8km south of Hokitika on SH6. Or start 3km from Rimu on Rimu-Ross Rd
Features: Follows old logging tramway route through a cross section of West Coast bush history. It crosses a diverse range of landscapes including boardwalked wetlands, natural terrace rimu forest and regenerating native forest & pine, eucalypt & monterey cypress plantings. Detour to lakeside Picnic Point along fine rimu-forest ridge worthwhile (40 minute return trip detour to Picnic Point). Open to mountain biking as well. 

Swimmers Beach Walk

LOCATION : Lake Mahinapua

EASY - Buggies/Strollers ok
Time: 15 min one way
Access: North of the main lake carpark and camping area.
Features: Leads to a very small but secluded beach through native bush. A good place to head for a swim. 

Lake Mahinapua & Rimu/Woodstock - Scenic Drive

LOCATION : Lake Mahinapua

1-3 HOUR 
This scenic driving loop takes in the coast south of Hokitika down to the Lake Mahinapua DoC campground, a great place to stop and enjoy the views and the many short walks in the area. Turn inland at Ruatapu onto the Woodstock Rimu Road to make your way back to Hokitika. Along the way there is the West Coast Treetop Walkway. Further along you will reach the Rimu Lookout & Heritage Walk for great views of the river and surrounding area. The trip can be done in reverse as well.  

Lake Mahinapua - Picnic Area

LOCATION : Lake Mahinapua

This is a perfect spot really at the DoC Campground. Picnic tables, a large grassy area, toilets, a warm lake to take a dip in and many short walks nearby. The kids love this area as there is so much room to run around and parents love it because the Jum Michel and Swimmers Beach walks can accommodate stollers. Plenty of room to get away from those kids too for romantics and the view is amazing.  

Mananui Tramline / Mahinapua Walkway - Bike

LOCATION : Lake Mahinapua

Grade 2
1-2 hours
This track follows an old logging tramline and features some of the sawmill machinery. It also incorporates a variety of scenery and terrain and includes access to a pebbly beach at the edge of the lake as well as fun boardwalks across swampy areas of wetland close to Mahināpua Creek. The track can be ridden from SH6 or the Woodstock Rimu Road or as an in and out option. This is getting upgraded to become part of the West Coast Wilderness Trail. Great for the kids.

Lake Mahinapua, Mahinapua Creek - Kayaking

LOCATION : Lake Mahinapua

Grade 1 
There is a great paddle to be had from Lake Mahinapua through Mahināpua Creek and down towards the township of Hokitika. The Creek has a very gentle current, and passes through beautiful wetland and forest; white herons are usually seen. This trip is suitable for novice paddlers and people in Canadian canoes. Paddlers get out either where the creek crosses the main highway, or further down toward the mouth of the creek, close to the confluence with the Hokitika River. 


Hokitika Holiday Park
PH: (03) 755 7754 E: MOBILE: 027 202 6196

Quiet rural setting. Tent, caravan & campervan sites available as well as standard cabins (linen and towels are not provided but can be hired). Facilities include toilets, hot showers, kitchen, dining areas & BBQ shelters. Playground for children & adults, a volleyball court and a basketball court is coming. Queen room, a bunk room for 4 or 6 people, and a family bunk room with a queen bed & 5 single beds available. Free wifi included.

Paramata Lodge
PH: (03) 755 4250 E:

Our sophisticated eco lodge has three luxury suites 35km south of Hokitika towards the glaciers. In a beautiful forest setting by remote sandy beach, peace, fine dining, and wildlife discovery combine. We are 3 hours drive from Christchurch airport and located between West Coast's best-known scenic attractions.

Rimu Lodge
PH: (03) 755 5255 E:

Architecturally designed boutique lodge overlooking Hokitika River, combining elegance & beautiful surroundings. Rooms stylish & tastefully decorated, all with en-suites. Relaxation assured, perfect retreat surrounded by warmth, beauty & ambience, free wireless available. Enjoy reading or just relaxing on the large deck.

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