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Waihola main road looking south.jpg
Main street of Waihola
New Zealand location map.svg
Disc Plain red.svg
Location of Waihola
Coordinates: 46°2′0″S170°6′0″E / 46.03333°S 170.10000°E / -46.03333; 170.10000 Coordinates: 46°2′0″S170°6′0″E / 46.03333°S 170.10000°E / -46.03333; 170.10000
Country New Zealand
Region Otago
District Clutha
  TypeDistrict Council
  BodyClutha District Council [1]
  MayorBryan Cadogan
  Bruce Ward Councillor (Chair, Corporate Services Committee)Gaynor Finch
  Bruce Ward CouncillorJoanna Lowrey
  Bruce Ward Councillor (Chair, Regulatory Services Committee)Bruce Vollweiler
  Total1.63 km2 (0.63 sq mi)
 (2018 [2] ) [3]
  Density230/km2 (590/sq mi)
PO Box Lobby Postcode (Waihola, Waihola)
Rural Delivery Postcode (RD 1, Outram)
International telephone access and area code03
ISO 3166 code 554
Local iwi Ngāi Tahu
[4] [5] [6]

The township of Waihola lies between Dunedin and Milton, New Zealand in Otago, in New Zealand's South Island. [4] It lies close to the southeast shore of the shallow tidal lake which shares its name.


The town is located on State Highway 1, and the South Island Main Trunk rail line runs through it, though trains no longer stop. The township is within the boundaries of Clutha District.


The name Waihola is accepted to be analogous with the word wai-hora, meaning "spreading waters". The place name for the location of Waihola is assigned as an official place name by the New Zealand Geographic Board. [7] The place name also creates some interest as the Māori alphabet doesn't normally contain the letter 'L'. This is most likely an example of an earlier Southern Māori dialect. [8]


Waihola is a popular destination for day-trips from Dunedin, 35 kilometres to the north, and the lake is a venue for many water sports, including waterskiing, rowing, and yachting.

The 2175-hectare Waihola Waipori wetland system is one of the largest and most significant remaining lowland wetland systems in New Zealand. It is a diverse and highly productive ecosystem, supporting threatened species such as the giant kokopu and the South Island Fernbird. The wetland is of great significance to Kai Tahu and is used for recreational hunting and fishing. [9]

The Sinclair Wetlands are also located at Waihola.


Waihola District School is a co-educational state primary school for Year 1 to 8 students, [10] with a roll of 36 as of November 2021. [11]

Related Research Articles

Otago Region of New Zealand

Otago is a region of New Zealand located in the southern half of the South Island administered by the Otago Regional Council. It has an area of approximately 32,000 square kilometres (12,000 sq mi), making it the country's second largest local government region. Its population was 246,700 in June 2021.

Balclutha, New Zealand Town in Otago, New Zealand

Balclutha is a town in South Otago, lying towards the end of the Clutha River, on the east coast of the South Island of New Zealand. It is about halfway between Dunedin and Gore on the Main South Line railway, State Highway 1 and the Southern Scenic Route. Balclutha has a population of 4,280, and is the largest town in South Otago.

Clutha River / Mata-Au River in the South Island of New Zealand

The Clutha River / Mata-Au, also known as the Clutha River, is the second longest river in New Zealand and the longest in the South Island. It flows south-southeast 338 kilometres (210 mi) through Central and South Otago from Lake Wānaka in the Southern Alps / Kā Tiritiri o te Moana to the Pacific Ocean, 75 kilometres (47 mi) south west of Dunedin. It is the highest volume river in New Zealand, and the swiftest, with a catchment of 21,960 square kilometres (8,480 sq mi), discharging a mean flow of 614 cubic metres per second (21,700 cu ft/s). The river is known for its scenery, gold-rush history, and swift turquoise waters. A river conservation group, the Clutha Mata-Au River Parkway Group, is working to establish a regional river parkway, with a trail, along the entire river corridor.

Lake Wānaka Lake in Otago, New Zealand

Lake Wānaka is New Zealand's fourth-largest lake and the seat of the town of Wānaka in the Otago region. The lake is 278 meters above sea level, covers 192 km2 (74 sq mi), and is more than 300 m (980 ft) deep.

Henley, New Zealand

Henley is a township on New Zealand's Taieri Plains, presumably named after the rowing centre Henley-on-Thames in England. It lies close to the confluence of the Taieri and Waipori Rivers at the eastern edge of the plain, at the foot of a low range of coastal hills.

Wānaka Town in Otago, New Zealand

Wānaka is a popular ski and summer resort town in the Otago region of the South Island of New Zealand. At the southern end of Lake Wānaka, it is at the start of the Clutha River / Mata-Au and is the gateway to Mount Aspiring National Park.

Kaitangata, New Zealand Place in Otago, New Zealand

Kaitangata is a town near the coast of South Otago, New Zealand, on the left bank of the Clutha River ten kilometres south east of Balclutha. The town is known to its residents simply as Kai.

Taieri River

The Taieri River is the fourth-longest river in New Zealand and is in Otago in the South Island. Rising in the Lammerlaw Range, it initially flows north, then east around the Rock and Pillar range before turning southeast, reaching the sea 30 kilometres (19 mi) south of Dunedin.

Lake Waihola Lake in the South Island of New Zealand

Lake Waihola is a 640 ha tidal freshwater lake located 15 km north of Milton in Otago, in New Zealand's South Island. Its area is some 9 square kilometres, with a maximum length of 6 kilometres and a mean depth of 0.75m.

Taieri Plain

The Taieri Plain is an area of fertile agricultural land to the southwest of Dunedin, in Otago, New Zealand. The plain covers an area of some 300 square kilometres, with a maximum extent of 30 kilometres. It is not to be confused with Strath Taieri, a second plain of the Taieri River, 40kms to the north beyond Mount Ross.

Waipori River

The Waipori River is in Otago in the South Island of New Zealand. Rising in the Lammerlaw Range, it flows southeast for 50 kilometres (31 mi) before joining the Taieri River near Henley, 30 kilometres (19 mi) southwest of Dunedin of which it is officially the southernmost border. Google Maps erroneously shows the stretch of Taieri river from the confluence to the mouth as Waipori River. The correct name is shown on the New Zealand government's official NZ Topo Map.

South Otago lies in the south east of the South Island of New Zealand. As the name suggests, it forms the southernmost part of the geographical region of Otago.

Sinclair Wetlands

The Sinclair Wetlands are an internationally renowned wetlands located to the south west of Dunedin, New Zealand, at the southern edge of the Taieri Plains. They are on the western side of Lake Waipori and approximately equidistant between Mosgiel and Milton. The protected area covers a little over 315 Ha 3 km2.

Taieri Mouth

Taieri Mouth is a small fishing village at the mouth of the Taieri River, New Zealand. Taieri Island (Moturata) lies in the ocean several hundred metres off the river's mouth.

Lake Waipori Lake in New Zealand

Lake Waipori is the smaller and shallower of the pair of lakes located in the wetlands to the south west of Dunedin in New Zealand on the Waipori River. The Waipori River is a major tributary of the Taieri River, and these wetlands form the southern edge of the Taieri Plains.

Clutha District Territorial authority in Otago, New Zealand

Clutha District is a local government district of southern New Zealand, with its headquarters in the Otago town of Balclutha. The Clutha District has a land area of 6,362.86 km² and a 2006 census population of 16,839 usual residents. Clutha District occupies the majority of the geographical area known as South Otago.

Lake Tuakitoto

Lake Tuakitoto is a small lake in South Otago, in the South Island of New Zealand. It is located to the northeast of Balclutha, close to the small town of Kaitangata. The smallest of South Otago's three main lakes, it is, like the others very shallow. The lake drains into the lower reaches of the Clutha River.

Waiwera South is a small settlement in the South Island of New Zealand, close to the boundary between the Otago and Southland regions. The settlement is located between Balclutha and Clinton, immediately to the south of State Highway 1, between branches of the Waiwera River and Kaihiku Stream, two minor tributaries of the Clutha River. The South Island Main Trunk railway also runs through the township. The settlement's population is around 100.


  1. "Councillors". cluthadc.govt.nz. Retrieved 14 June 2016.
  2. "Population Statistics, Charts, Map, Location, Weather and Web Information". Waihola (Otago, South Island, New Zealand). 30 June 2018. Retrieved 28 June 2020.
  3. "Archived copy". apps.nowwhere.com.au. Archived from the original on 9 February 2010. Retrieved 13 January 2022.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. 1 2 "New Zealand Gazetteer: Search for Place Names | Land Information New Zealand (LINZ)". linz.govt.nz. Retrieved 14 June 2016.
  5. mao(B)/mri(T) native language
  6. "New Zealand Post". nzpost.co.nz. Retrieved 14 June 2016.
  7. "New Zealand Gazetteer". LINZ. Retrieved 28 June 2020.
  8. Macalister, John (2004). "Listening to Proper Nouns: Social Change and Maori Proper Noun Use in New Zealand English" (PDF). New Zealand English Journal. 18: 28. Retrieved 24 June 2018.
  9. Lake Waihola Waipori Wetlands Society
  10. "Waihola District School Ministry of Education School Profile". educationcounts.govt.nz. Ministry of Education.
  11. "Waihola District School Education Review Office Report". ero.govt.nz. Education Review Office.