Lake Rotorua

One of the largest lakes on the North Island, this location offers an abundance of exciting activities as well as a fascinating geological and cultural history.

Visit Lake Rotorua and you will find no shortage of things to do. Swim in the calm, clear waters by the city’s edge or set off on foot in search of your own private bay. Kayak to mystical Mokoia Island or sit back and relax on a boat cruise.

With a surface area of approximately 54 hectares (133 acres), this is the most expansive of 16 lakes in the Rotorua region. It was formed in a crater following the eruption of a volcano around 200,000 years ago and remains a site of constant geothermal activity. Notice the milky hue of the blue water; this is a result of high sulphur levels.

Amble through the Government Gardens just east of the town centre and look out across the lake. See if you can spot people fishing from boats or on the lake’s edge. Rainbow, brown and brook trout are frequently caught here.

Organise a guided kayak or stand-up paddleboard trip or simply rent the equipment and explore independently. Paddle to hot pools and secluded coves and head to the small Mokoia Island in the centre of the lake. Maori folklore says that two young lovers from tribes based at either end of the lake met here on the island having long been forbidden from seeing each other. Today tourists stop here to soak in the natural hot pool.

If you want for a more luxurious vessel, try one of the spacious cruise boats that operate excursions on the lake. Spot pretty birds and fish from the deck as you eat lunch on board.

The southern end of Lake Rotorua borders the city with which it shares its name. Book trips and tours of the lake online or from lakefront operators upon arrival.

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