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Eleven major lakes sparkle in the landscape around Rotorua. The city of Rotorua nestles on the shore of the largest, Lake Rotorua. Their shapes have been formed and altered by catastophic volcanic activity in times past. The most famous being the Tarawera Eruption of 1886. Many of the lakes are steeped in Maori legend and history - you'll hear stories of phantom canoes seen gliding in the mist, of lovers who swam the lakes to secretly meet upon their shores, or of the notorious Taniwha - monstrous tribal guardians of the deep.
There are a multitude of lakes based in and around Rotorua and all are popular with swimmers and boaties. The lakes are ringed by forest and farmland, but most are easily accessible to visitors. Most are cool, clear and some very shallow lakes, with some areas heated through geothermal activity.
If trout fishing on these or any of the associated rivers and streams, bear in mind that licenses to fish must be obtained before you go ahead – you can obtain a fishing license online at Fish and Game. There are sixteen lakes in the vicinity of Rotorua, however eleven are fishable lakes of varying size and depth.
Some Rotorua Lakes…
Lake Rotorua is sited within the city boundaries and is one of the largest in the country. Unlike its sister lake, Lake Taupo, it is shallow in most areas and some places are quite warm owing to ongoing geothermal activity.
The Blue Lake (Tikitapu) is one of the closest lakes to Rotorua. It’s clear blue waters are popular with water skiers, swimmers and boaties. An easy walking track circles the lake taking in beautiful beaches, native bush and the Whakarewarewa Redwood Forest. There are good views over Blue Lake and the nearby Green Lake (Rotokakahi). The Green Lake is ‘Tapu’ or sacred, Things or places which are tapu must be left alone, and must not be approached or interfered with. Click here for more information on your Blue Lake accommodation at our TOP 10 Holiday Park Rotorua.
Lake Tarawera is the largest of a series of lakes which surround the volcano Mount Tarawera. It is located 18 kilometres to the east of Rotorua, and five kilometres to the west of the mountain. Lake Tarawera is home to a range of eels and trout. In summer it is popular for both fishing and water sports, and also camping as there are a number of hot water beaches. The lake was substantially affected by the eruption of Mount Tarawera on June 10, 1886 killing over 150 people, and buried the Maori village of Te Wairoa.
Lake Okataina is a sprawling lake shaped similar to an octopus. The area was an important link in pre-European routes, when canoes were carried from Lake Tarawera to Lake Okataina. Okataina Road follows one of these ancient portage routes. The Lake Okataina Scenic Reserve is a pristine natural area with native bush down to the waters edge. The reserve is rich in birdlife and contains fine examples of rimu, totara, rata and kahikatea (New Zealand native trees)
Lake Rotoiti is popular for water sports and fishing. The lake has a navigable water link with Lake Rotorua. Among important cultural, historic and scenic sites around the lake are Okere Falls Scenic Reserve and the Hinehopu/Hongi Track.
Lake Okeraka is conveniently located to the Blue Lake TOP 10 Holiday Park Rotorua and provides an excellent alternative for water skiing, trout fishing, swimming and water related sports. It provides an excellent ski lane and beach with a picturesque picnic setting. A recently completed board and lakeshore track is available for all in the family to enjoy.
Cruise, kayak, ski or sail, fish for trophy-winning trout in the lakes and the streams that feed them. Or ride the wild rapids and waterfalls along some of the more turbulent stretches. Whatever your pleasure, Rotorua's stunning natural setting offers endless possibilities for relaxation, fun and adventure in, on and around our waterways.
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