The National Wetland Trust is developing a National Wetland Discovery Centre at Lake Serpentine/Lake Rotopiko next to Ohaupo Road/SH3 between Ohaupo and Te Awamutu. An area of about 9.5 hectares, including Lake Rotopiko and a wetland forest area, is enclosed in predator-proof fence. There is a well-formed track encircling Lake Rotopiko with some activities for children along the way, and a track through the kahikatea forest adjacent to the lake. The Department of Conservation is also involved, together with the Toyota Kiwi Guardians organisation.
A parking area for visitors to Lake Rotopiko is accessible directly off Ohaupo Rd/SH3, but due to a wire rope median barrier the access is only for vehicles travelling south from Ohaupo. The entry, through a gate which is closed at night, is unmarked and is located between McFall Rd and Jary Rd. There is a turning bay on Jary Rd for those heading north after a visit to Lake Rotopiko, as only a left turn is possible when leaving the carpark.
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Lake Ngaroto is a 108-hectare peat lake with adjacent wetlands in the Waipa District, north-west of Te Awamutu and south-west of Ohaupo. The lake has a maximum depth of 4 metres and an average depth of 2 metres, lying only 33 metres above sea level. A walking and cycling track almost 6 km long, with a large part of it being boardwalk, has been constructed around the lake. The lake itself is only visible from the walkway in a few locations, with vegetation blocking the view for most of the distance. Boats with motors are not allowed on the lake, but there is a rowing club and a sailing club, each with club rooms at the edge of the lake. The lake is also used by duck shooters during the May-June shooting season.
There is a parking area with toilets at the end of Bank Road, off Ngaroto Road. Dogs are allowed on the walkway, but must be kept on a leash. For an anti-clockwise walk or cycle the track starts by the parking area at the southern end of the lake. For a clockwise walk (no cycling) the track starts further along the access road, by the sailing club buildings. For more details of the walk see the Te Awamutu Online site. The site mentions that parts of the walk are through fields, with stiles to cross, but this is no longer correct.
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