This short walk is metalled and connected with boardwalks. It loops through manuka scrub growing close to the track. The walk passes a series of holes excavated by gum diggers.
It's an ideal place to take the family on a historical outing. This site has multiple tables and shady areas, a perfect setting for a picnic.
Lake Ohia is located on the Karikari Peninsula, about 41 km northeast of Kaitaia.
From Kaitaia, head north on SH1 until you reach Awanui, then turn right onto SH10. Continue on SH10 for 14.6 km, then turn left onto Inland Road and follow for 2 km. The Gumhole Reserve is signposted on your right, at a small roadside parking area.
Lake Ohia is an other-worldly place of charred stumps and gumland scrub that casts a strange sort of magic over you.
Lake Ohia is an ephemeral lake that usually dries out in summer and is wet in winter. Water is present for approximately two months of the year. Classified as a gum-field wetland, this former lake now provides important habitat for rare ferns, mosses and orchids.
The surrounding swamps and shrub land contain the threatened freshwater black mud fish and are home to many bird species.
Gumlands consist of shrub-covered, flat to rolling land mainly found in northern New Zealand, which have deposits of kauri gum.
Most remaining gumlands are centred in Kaitaia or Kaikohe. There are a number of layers of kauri logs lying buried in many parts of Northland. Preserved in swamps, these logs can reveal the fate of previous generations of kauri forests, tens of thousands of years ago.
View and appreciate the massive amount of labour that went into the gum fields that were dug over by hundreds of workers when kauri gum replaced gold as New Zealand's most valuable export.
Throughout the walk you find information signs about the history of the site and nearby areas of significance.
A short detour off the main road will take you to this former lake bed. See the visible effects of gum-digging and, features ancient remains of a once thriving kauri forest that was drowned about 30,000 years ago, before the lake was formed.
In the late part of the last century, gum diggers made their presence felt in the Far North. Armies of fortune seekers settled just south of the area and hunted for a bounty of kauri gum. The fossilised resin from the kauri tree had become highly desirable as the backbone of varnish manufacturing..