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Exploring Lake Kaniere Scenic Reserve

This beautiful nature reserve, centered on one of the South Island's largest lakes, is just 18km (11 miles) from Hokitika. If you don't have time to stay and explore, there's a lovely 58km (36-mile) circular scenic drive past the lake and back through Kakatahi Valley farmlands.

Lingering, however, will be rewarded by vistas of the lake ringed by unspoiled forests with a backdrop of distant mountains. You'll find an information kiosk and toilets at the landing, where the road first comes to the water's edge. There are picnic tables, fireplaces, and toilets at Sunny Bight. This is also the starting point for two walks: the Kahikatea Forest Walk, a 10-minute stroll through the forest; and the Lake Kaniere Walkway, a 3 1/2-hour trek that features beaches, rainforest, and bird life. Drive on further to the tiny Lake Kaniere holiday settlement to continue the circular route. The nearby, pristine Hokitika Gorge Scenic Reserve is well worth visiting. You'll be amazed by the turquoise blue water and the beautiful bush surrounds. Well-defined walking paths and bridges have been built to give you the best photographic views. Pick up advance information and local maps for the walks and the gorge at the visitor center in Hokitika.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.