Xena Warrior Princess

Locations - Lake Wainamu

Lake Wainamu in the early morning, looking South
Lake Wainamu is one of the most unique and recognisable locations used in Xena: Warrior Princess and Hercules: The Legendary Journeys. Lake Wainamu is an extra-ordinary natural formation; a fresh water lake held in place by a giant sand dune, or sandblow. The small stream, Waiti Stream, which flows out of Lake Wainamu meanders around the edge of the sandblow on a broad and flat sandy riverbed, soon to become a tributary into the Waitakeri River in Bethells Valley. At the head of the lake, there is a narrow pass through which the stream flows over a row of small cascading waterfalls before reaching the lake.

View across the lake, showing shore and sandblow
This picture shows the contrast between the normal lakeshore and the sandblow. You may well recognise this place from the first season Xena episode Mortal Beloved as the place Gabrielle keeps vigil while Xena visits the underworld. It is also the place in Young Hercules where he takes a skinny dip and is embarressed to come out again.

View Straight Across The Lake at it's middle
This picture shows the view across the lake at around it's mid-point. The lake almost disappears in the reflections, and it's edges are blurred by the reeds that line either shore. A shot not dissimilar to this one is featured in the openning sequence of Orphan of War except for UK viewers where Sky removed this scene!

The sandblow and the hills behind
This view is taken from higher up the hillside looking across once again to the transition between the normal lakeshore and the sandblow. It also shows the trees on the eastern side of the lake in the foreground.

The falls at the top of the Lake
At the top end of the lake are these spectacular cascade falls.

One of the spectacular falls

North to Waiti Stream Back to Bethells Valley overview

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Bevis King <B.King@ee.surrey.ac.uk>
5th April 1998