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rvexplorer id: 13778
For us, Lake Tomarata is one of those little known gems that you can find scattered throughout New Zealand. Nestled between forest and farmland, and only a short drive from the coast, it is a prime spot for a picnic. Often you will be the only visitors.
It appears that the council developed the location as a potential aquatic playground, with a boat ramp intended for water-skiing, canoing, or wind surfing. The toilets are modern and well maintained, but there is almost never anyone there.
It is only a short drive from the more popular Te Arai Point, but it is down a metal road, which may put some visitors off.
We arrived around mid-afternoon on an overcast day. There was just one other van there, a couple like us who knew about the lake, and had called in for a quiet lunch.
They were planning on staying overnight, but there were no council notices one way or the other. They had tried contacting the council and the park ranger, but with no definite answer, so had decided to stay, and be willing to move on if asked to.
We agreed that this would make a great place to freedom camp, and would have stayed as well, except we had already planned to go on to Whangateau, further down the coast.
There is a walkway part of the way around the lake. If you have children with you and a canoe, this would a great place to teach them how to use it. Or, just chill out and have a picnic in the grounds.