Kia ora

Lake Maraetai

'Marae' meaning open space or courtyard. 'Tai' means tide or shore. The name is possibly transplanted from somewhere on the coast. There is a Maraetai beach settlement southeast of Auckland on the Waitemata harbour. Lake Maraetai is one of many lakes that dot the Waikato River (New Zealand's longest river) on its meandering journey north from Lake Taupo to the Waikato Heads on the west coast just south of the Manukau Harbour and Auckland City. These lakes are part of a massive hydroelectric scheme, one of the biggest in the world, that harnesses the power of New Zealand’s longest river, The “Mighty Waikato”.

Waikato River

The Waikato River is the longest river in New Zealand. In the North Island, it runs for 425 kilometres from the eastern slopes of Mount Ruapehu, joining the Tongariro River system and emptying into Lake Taupo, New Zealand's largest lake. It drains Taupo at the lake's northeastern edge, creates the Huka Falls, then flows northwest, through the Waikato Plains. It empties into the Tasman Sea south of Auckland at Port Waikato. It gives its name to the Waikato region that surrounds the Waikato Plains.


Mangakino is a small town on the banks of the Waikato River in the North Island of New Zealand. It is located close to the hydroelectric power station at Lake Maraetai, 85 km's southeast of Hamilton. Its population in 2001 was 1257.

Local History

In 1896, (after 40 years of resistance) the Crown acquired the Wairarapa Lakes from Ngati Kahungunu and in 1915, gave in return land in middle North Island, land known as part of the Pouakani Block. At that time the land where Mangakino lies today was described as native bush and pumice wastelands, barren, unoccupied and unfarmed. In 1946, as the Karapiro Dam neared completion, workers were to transfer to the next dam construction site – 'Maraetai I', near Mangakino. The Crown, under the Public Works Act, reacquired a portion of the unoccupied Pouakani Block alongside the Waikato River to build a “hydroelectric station” and a temporary township, Mangakino, was established to house the hundreds of construction workers needed. The town was only ever meant to be there on a temporary basis until the completion of the proposed dams. In 1952 the population exceeded 5,000. Mangakino also serviced the construction of Atiamuri and Ohakuri hydro schemes further upstream. Mangakino, and to a lesser extent Whakamaru and Atiamuri, owe their existence to the hydro schemes and the roads constructed gave access which allowed development of the land for farming in the 1960s. The decline for Mangakino occurred after the hydro dams were commissioned and over time communities such as Maraetai and Waipapa disappeared altogether.

Rotorua area

Experience Maori culture, geothermal earth forces, stunning landscapes, thrills and adventure, some of the world's best mountain biking trails, fantastic trout fishing and a myriad of forest walking tracks; Rotorua district offers it all.

Thermal activity is at the heart of much of Rotorua's tourist appeal. Geysers and bubbling mud-pools, hot thermal springs and the Buried Village (Te Wairoa) named after it was buried by the 1886 Mount Tarawera eruption, are within easy reach of the city. Kuirau Park, to the west end of the central city, is also remarkable - hot bubbling mud pools dot the park, lending a surreal air to the setting. Visitors can soak their feet in hot pools. Rotorua is nicknamed Sulphur City, because of the aforementioned thermal activity. The sulphur gives off an odour unique to Rotorua that adds to the visitor experience.

Lake Taupo

Taupo is a busy holiday destination with bustling cafes and restaurants, dramatic mountain views. Taupo offers a range of sights and activities suitable for all ages and capabilities. Sports and adventure activities are on offer all year round.. 

Mount Ruapehu

Located 40 km's southwest of the southern shore of Lake Taupo and 23 km's northeast of Ohakune, within Tongariro National Park.

The mountain hosts two commercial ski fields, Whakapapa on the northern side and Turoa on the southern slope. These are the largest ski fields in New Zealand, with Whakapapa the larger. The season is generally from July to October but depends on snow and weather conditions (in 2008 it is expected to last in to November). Both ski fields are accessible by car and chairlifts, with beginners' to advanced skiing slopes.

Ruapehu is one of the world's most active volcanoes and the largest active volcano in New Zealand. It is the highest point in the North Island and includes three major peaks: Tahurangi (2,797 m), Te Heuheu (2,755 m) and Paretetaitonga (2,751 m). The deep, active crater is between the peaks and fills with a crater lake between major eruptions.

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