A melting pot of nature, history and wildlife - Lake Waihola is the sister lake to nearby Lake Waipori. Just 20 kilometres from the coast, this is New Zealand's most inland tidal lake and only reaches an average of one metre at its deepest.
Waihola, which means 'spreading waters' in Te Reo Māori, is famous for its black swans and picture-perfect reflections on a calm day. The internationally renowned wildlife haven, Sinclair Wetlands, lies in between the two lakes.
Steeped in history, Lake Waihola was once used as a shortcut during the famous Otago gold rush. Greedy gold diggers would hop on a paddle steamer up the Taieri River, cross the lake, and trek over the hills to Lawrence, where the first big nugget was found in 1861.
There are also the well-known whale and dolphin fossils to be seen at the nearby Milburn Whale and Dolphin Fossils Lookout.
Lake Waihola is a lovely stopover off the main highway. Grab some fresh fish from Waihola Fresh Fish Supply and head to the lake for a quaint meal. Day done!