Lakes of New Zealand

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In New Zealand there are 3,820 lakes with a surface area larger than one hectare. The lakes are of varying types and origins. Many of the lakes in the central North Island area are volcanic crater lakes, while the majority of the lakes near the Southern Alps were carved by glaciers. Hydroelectric reservoirs are common in South Canterbury, Central Otago and along the Waikato River.[1]


There are:

  • 41 lakes with a surface area larger than 10 km² (1000 ha)
  • 229 lakes greater than 0.5 km² (50 ha)
  • 3820 lakes greater than 0.01 km² (1 ha)


A trophic level index is used as a measure of the pollution levels of lakes in New Zealand.

Based on the monitoring of 134 lakes it is estimated that one third of New Zealand lakes have high nutrient levels or have poor water quality.[2]

See also


  1. Nathan, Simon.Types of lake (map), Te Ara – the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, updated 2007-11-05. Accessed 19 December 2007.
  2. New Zealand Ministry for the Environment – Trophic Level Index for lakes

Further reading

External links