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Northland’s best kept secret
18th December 2006

Keen wakeboarders Devan Rowe and Ali Smith test out their new Supra 21V at a lake known as Northland’s best kept secret.

The madness is about to descend on our usually quiet lakes and rivers, so we felt it was time to get away to a place that advertises itself as northland’s best kept secret – the Lake View Chalets on the Spectacle and Slipper Lakes near Mangawhai.

Situated 90 minutes from Auckland and less than an hour from Whangarei, these lakes really are the perfect wakeboard set-up for summer and it’s hard to believe so few people know about them.

The spectacle lake, given its name because of its shape like a pair of glasses, is a warm, reed-fringed lake that’s the perfect size for two boats to operate. On the first morning we awoke to a beautiful sunrise over a sheet glass lake.

But the beauty of the spectacles is that in all winds, you can find a line with still water and the backdrop is picturesque rolling rural pasture.

There is a two-boat maximum in place so no problems with pesky rollers or speeding, waving idiots burning around in “the serenity”.

Accommodation at the lake is luxurious and as ideal for families as it is for a boys’ weekend. The bedrooms have optional super king beds or can be converted to single beds depending on your crew.

There are six chalets altogether and each one is private in its outlook. They are serviced chalets with a living area, two bedrooms, a bathroom, kitchen, dining area, balcony and swivelling barbecue with the decks facing out to the sun and lakes.

Anyone staying at the chalets can put their boat in at the private boat ramp and tie it up to the jetty so it’s ready to ride all day. A shed housing kayaks and lifejackets is a good storage option for your gears and there’s a picnic table for friends and family at the boat ramp.

The lakes are a 10 minute drive from the surf beaches of Pakiri, Forestry and Te Arai giving you plenty of board riding options when you’re wakeboarded out. But it’s hard to leave the relaxing Lake View Chalets, which were built 10 years ago and are now nestled in amazing mature landscaped grounds with the most immaculate, spongey soft lawns.

Everything you might need is provided including the use of kayaks and mountain bikes. The area is filled with biking and horse riding tracks. Our little girl enjoyed roaming through the orchards collecting oranges to eat and we gathered rosemary for evening barbecues.

The lakes were home to the first New Zealand Wakeboard Nationals back in 1999 (taken out by Gavin Broadbent) and the event also featured Ballistics’ Justin Hamlen who joined us for a ride as the sun set on our second night in the chalets.

We had perfect riding conditions and Jay had to wakeboard in boardies (since in his rush to check out the brand new Supra launch 21V he’d forgotten to pack his wettie), but he reckoned he wasn’t cold at all.

We’ve had many happy memories over the years at the Lake View Chalets since it’s one of those truly relaxing getaways, with loads of great riding. Even though it’s wise to keep places like this to yourself, we decided that’s not in the Christmas spirit. So here you go:

Lake View Chalets, www.chalets.co.nz or email lakeview@chalets.co.nz
Freephone 0800 LAKEVIEW