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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.


Guide to Exploring Lake Rotorua


Map

Top Lake Rotorua Hotel & Accommodation Deals

See all 391 properties near Lake Rotorua
Peppers On The Point - Lake Rotorua NZ$896
Peppers On The Point - Lake Rotorua

Peppers On The Point - Lake Rotorua

214 Kawaha Point Road, Rotorua
     
    5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Situated on a lake, this luxury lodge is 0.3 mi (0.6 km) from Lake Rotorua and 1.6 mi (2.6 km) from Skyline Rotorua. Volcanic Hills Winery and Rainbow Springs Kiwi Wildlife Park are also within 2 miles (3 km).

    Koura Lodge NZ$517
    Koura Lodge

    Koura Lodge

    209 Kawaha Point Road, Kawaha Point, Rotorua
       
      5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Nestled on the beach, this Rotorua lodge is within 2 mi (3 km) of Skyline Rotorua and Rainbow Springs Kiwi Wildlife Park. Whakarewarewa: The Living Maori Village and Te Puia New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute are also within 6 mi (10 km).

      Novotel Rotorua Lakeside NZ$271
      Novotel Rotorua Lakeside

      Novotel Rotorua Lakeside

      9-11 Tutanekai St, P O Box 348, Rotorua
         
        4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

        This family-friendly Rotorua hotel is located in the shopping district, within a 15-minute walk of Matariki Hangi & Maori Cultural Performance, Tamaki Maori Village and Polynesian Spa. Skyline Rotorua is 2.5 mi (4 km) away.

        Kawaha Point Gem
        Kawaha Point Gem

        Kawaha Point Gem

        199a Kawaha Point Rd, Rotorua, Rotorua
           
          3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

          Situated in Rotorua, this holiday home is within 2 miles (3 km) of Skyline Rotorua, Volcanic Hills Winery and Rainbow Springs Kiwi Wildlife Park. Mitai Maori Village and Ogo are also within 3 miles (5 km).

          Black Swan Lakeside Boutique Hotel NZ$816
          Black Swan Lakeside Boutique Hotel

          Black Swan Lakeside Boutique Hotel

          171 Kawaha Point Road, Kawaha Point, Rotorua
             
            5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Nestled on the beach, this Rotorua hotel is 1.4 mi (2.2 km) from Skyline Rotorua and 3 mi (4.8 km) from Tamaki Maori Village. Volcanic Hills Winery and Rainbow Springs Kiwi Wildlife Park are also within 2 miles (3 km).

            Lakeview Holiday Home NZ$645
            Lakeview Holiday Home

            Lakeview Holiday Home

            5 Naera Place, Kawaha Point, Rotorua
               
              3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

              Situated in Rotorua, this holiday home is 1.5 mi (2.4 km) from Skyline Rotorua and 3.1 mi (5 km) from Tamaki Maori Village. Volcanic Hills Winery and Rainbow Springs Kiwi Wildlife Park are also within 2 miles (3 km).

              Thistle Do
              Thistle Do

              Thistle Do

              8 Gemini Pl, Rotorua, Rotorua
                 
                3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Situated in Rotorua, this apartment building is within 2 miles (3 km) of Skyline Rotorua, Volcanic Hills Winery and Rainbow Springs Kiwi Wildlife Park. Mitai Maori Village and Ogo are also within 2 miles (3 km).

                Rydges Rotorua NZ$134
                Rydges Rotorua

                Rydges Rotorua

                272 Fenton St, Rotorua
                   
                  4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Fenton Street, this luxury hotel is within 1 mile (2 km) of Racing Rotorua, Tamaki Maori Village and Polynesian Spa. Whakarewarewa Hot Springs and Rotorua Central Mall are also within 1 mile (2 km).