Most people know there are two small lakes at the corner of Strathnaver Drive and Reay Mackay Grove. The lakes are a haven for birdlife (and anyone who wants a quiet few moments for reflection) and attract a rich diversity of frogs, insects and many birds, including some that regularly take refuge from a busy beach.
Birds regularly include white-faced heron, spoonbills, Australasian coots, ducks, pukeko, swallows, as well as sometimes pied stilts, spur-winged plover, the critically endangered bittern, the rare and elusive white heron and others.
Although both lakes are privately owned, they are the only easily accessible wetlands at Waikawa Beach, given that both are bordered by streets.
What few people know is that the lakes have names: Lake Puna-O-Te-Ora for the northern one, and Lake Wai-Marie for the southern one.
Many thanks to local resident Kezna Cameron for discovering this recently and letting us know. Kezna has also pointed out that Lake Puna-O-Te-Ora is one of only 3 local breeding areas for the seldom observed Australasian Bittern.