top of page

Lake mangamahoe guide

==the cj way++

The CJ way Guide to Lake Mangamahoe


Beautiful lake with a stunning view of Mount Taranaki

Located in New Plymouth

5 minutes from parking

Easy walk


Best time to visit: sunrise

Sneakers are best (but jandals are fine!)


  • Coordinates of Car park (-39.1178893, 174.1240559)

  • Coordinates of lookout (above): (-39.1195650, 174.1253675)

  • Coordinated of lookout from rock bridge:(-39.1191842, 174.1267196)

  • Turn into the Lake Mangamahoe reserve and drive all the way to the end (2km unsealed road). From there it’s a five minute walk to the Mount Taranaki lookout (well signposted) or a few minutes further along the circuit track will take you to the edge of the lake.

 best time to visit? 

  • Sunrise on a still day! Sunset is equally as stunning but in the early morning there's a better chance the water is calm for a reflection shot and there are fewer people around.

  • Note that the gate is closed overnight. Daylight saving hours are 7am-8:30pm and non-daylight saving hours are 7am-8:30pm. You can check the gate hours here.

 cj travel tips 

  • If you are planning on going for sunrise and the gates are closed, you can park across the road (corner of Kent Rd) and walk the 2km in (just allow enough time!). When we were there they opened the gates an hour earlier than the sign said so you could be lucky.

  • The two photo spots listed in the co-ordinates above give different views but are only a few minutes apart. We shot down low for the first part of sunrise to maximise the reflection in the water, then ran up to the higher lookout to capture the different perspective.

 cj photography tips 

  • Use a zoom lens in order to make Mt Taranaki appear bigger in your frame.

  • Experiment with shutter speeds. A longer shutter speed blurred the water slightly and created a softer feel, however, as you will see, there are hundreds of birds that live in the lake, so we needed to make our shutter speed quicker. 

  • Play around with the birds in your frame, they add interest and you can even use them as your focus point. 

 what we found useful to pack 

​In addition to the usuals (camera gear, suitable clothing, water and food, first aid, etc. we found the following items useful for Lake Mangamahoe

  • en empty bladder (we were really surprised there was no bathroom here?);

bottom of page