Lake Moeraki in south Westland is the first of several small, easily accessible lakes heading north from Haast to Hokitika on State Highway 6. It is fed by the Moeraki River from the southeast and exits towards the Tasman Sea to the northwest. State Highway 6 runs along its northern edge, with several signposted “access” points. Although oddly you can only get to the lake from the points signposted at the northwest and southeast ends. Park at the top and walk down the short access tracks (rough and only suitable for 4WD). The entrances for the Wilderness Lodge Lake Moeraki and the Monro Beach Walk are also near the northwest lake access.
The lake is surrounded by native forest and lies within Te Wāhipounamu World Heritage area, right in the middle of a section of ancient forest that has never been logged. You can take a boat onto the lake – a kayak would be best. There is also enough room for a picnic at the southeast access.
There were a few sandflies when we visited, but it wasn’t too bad. You will need to go a bit further north to Lake Paringa to camp, where there were more sandflies!