Martelle Futch

Martelle Futch

Published: 15 Sep 2023


Lake Manapouri is a stunningly beautiful lake located in the Fiordland region of New Zealand. Renowned for its breathtaking scenery and pristine wilderness, it is a popular destination for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers alike. Aside from its immense natural beauty, Lake Manapouri also holds a plethora of mind-blowing facts that make it truly unique and fascinating. From its deep, crystal-clear waters to its ancient geological history, there are countless wonders to discover about this awe-inspiring lake. In this article, we will explore 15 mind-blowing facts about Lake Manapouri that will leave you in awe of the marvels of the universe. So, prepare to be amazed as we embark on an unforgettable journey through the wonders of Lake Manapouri.

Table of Contents

Lake Manapouri is New Zealand’s Deepest Lake

With a maximum depth of 444 meters, Lake Manapouri holds the distinction of being the deepest lake in all of New Zealand. Its remarkable depth is a testament to the geological forces that shaped the region.

The Lake’s Name Has M?ori Origins

The name “Manapouri” comes from the M?ori language, specifically from the words “mana” meaning “power” and “pouri” meaning “darkness.” Together, these words capture the mysterious and awe-inspiring nature of the lake.

It is Located in Fiordland National Park

Lake Manapouri is situated within the stunning Fiordland National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site known for its breathtaking landscapes and rich biodiversity. The lake’s pristine beauty is well-preserved within this protected area.

The Lake is Fed by Over 30 Glacial Streams

Flowing down from the surrounding mountain ranges, more than 30 glacial streams contribute to the water supply of Lake Manapouri. These streams provide the lake with its crystal-clear and incredibly pure waters.

Lake Manapouri is Part of the Waiau River System

Although it is often referred to as a lake, Lake Manapouri is technically a reservoir that forms part of the larger Waiau River system. It serves as an important hydroelectric power source and a hub for various outdoor recreational activities.

The Lake is Home to Several Native Fish Species

Lake Manapouri serves as a habitat for several native fish species, including brown trout, rainbow trout, and longfin eels. These species contribute to the ecological diversity of the lake and play a vital role in the local ecosystem.

Lake Manapouri Has Many Islands

The lake is dotted with numerous islands, each with its unique features and vegetation. Residents and visitors can explore these islands by boat and experience the tranquil beauty that they offer.

It has a Small Resident Population

Despite its natural splendor, Lake Manapouri has a relatively small resident population. The nearby township of Manapouri is home to only a few hundred people, contributing to the sense of seclusion and tranquility in the area.

It is a Popular Tourist Destination

Despite its secluded location, Lake Manapouri attracts numerous visitors from around the world. Tourists come to admire its breathtaking scenery, engage in water sports, and embark on hikes through the pristine surrounding wilderness.

Lake Manapouri Played a Role in New Zealand’s Conservation History

The lake played a significant role in New Zealand’s conservation history. In the 1960s, plans were made to raise the lake’s water levels as part of a hydroelectric power project. However, the ensuing opposition and public outcry led to a change in legislation and the formation of stricter environmental protection laws.

The Lake is Surrounded by Majestic Mountains

Lake Manapouri is nestled amidst a backdrop of majestic mountains, including the Cathedral Range and the Hunter Mountains. These towering peaks offer breathtaking views and provide opportunities for hiking and mountaineering adventures.

Lake Manapouri Offers Pristine Wilderness Experiences

For outdoor enthusiasts, Lake Manapouri is a gateway to pristine wilderness experiences. From kayaking and boating on the calm and reflective waters to exploring the nearby forests, the lake provides endless opportunities to connect with nature.

The Lake’s Water Temperature is Relatively Cold

Due to its glacial origins, the water temperature of Lake Manapouri remains relatively cold throughout the year. However, this doesn’t deter adventurous swimmers who are eager to take a refreshing dip in its clear waters.

Lake Manapouri Boasts Diverse Birdlife

The lake and its surrounding wetlands provide a haven for a diverse range of bird species. Visitors may spot native New Zealand birds such as the takahe, paradise shelduck, and the beautiful bellbird.

It is a Place of Spiritual Significance

For the M?ori people, Lake Manapouri is a place of spiritual significance. It holds stories and legends passed down through generations, adding an extra layer of cultural richness to its already incredible natural beauty.


Lake Manapouri, with its stunning beauty and intriguing features, is a true wonder of nature. From its pristine waters to its unique ecosystem, this lake has captured the attention of nature enthusiasts from around the world. With its immense depth and underground power station, Lake Manapouri offers more than meets the eye. Exploring the depths of this majestic lake and understanding its geological significance is an experience like no other. Whether you’re a nature lover, an adventure seeker, or simply curious about the mysteries of the universe, a visit to Lake Manapouri will undoubtedly leave you awe-inspired.


1. How deep is Lake Manapouri?
Lake Manapouri is an astonishing 444 meters (1,457 feet) deep, making it one of the deepest lakes in New Zealand.

2. Can you swim in Lake Manapouri?
Yes, you can swim in Lake Manapouri. The crystal-clear waters offer a refreshing and invigorating experience for swimmers. However, do ensure that you are aware of the current weather and water conditions before taking a dip.

3. Are there any wildlife species in Lake Manapouri?
Yes, Lake Manapouri is home to a diverse range of wildlife species. From native fish like trout and salmon to bird species such as the New Zealand Grebe and the Paradise Duck, the lake’s ecosystem supports a rich biodiversity.

4. How was the underground power station built in Lake Manapouri?
The underground power station in Lake Manapouri, known as the Manapouri Power Station, was constructed in the late 1960s. The power station utilizes the water flow between Lake Manapouri and Lake Te Anau to generate electricity. It is an impressive feat of engineering and has played a crucial role in New Zealand’s power generation.

5. Can you take a boat tour on Lake Manapouri?
Yes, boat tours are available on Lake Manapouri. They provide a fantastic opportunity to explore the lake’s scenic beauty, learn about its history, and witness its remarkable natural features up close. It is highly recommended to take a boat tour to fully appreciate the splendor of Lake Manapouri.