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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.


Explore More of Rotorua

Lake Rotorua Hotels

See all 320 properties near Lake Rotorua
Peppers On The Point - Lake Rotorua

Peppers On The Point - Lake Rotorua

214 Kawaha Point Road, Rotorua
    5.0 out of 5.0
     
     
    4.8 out of 5 (19 reviews)

    Situated on a lake, this luxury lodge is within 2 mi (3 km) of Skyline Rotorua, Volcanic Hills Winery, and Rainbow Springs Kiwi Wildlife Park. Kuirau Park and ...

    Peppers On The Point - Lake RotoruaNZ$740

    Peppers On The Point - Lake RotoruaNZ$740
    Millennium Hotel Rotorua

    Millennium Hotel Rotorua

    1270 Hinemaru Street, Rotorua
      4.5 out of 5.0
       
       
      4.4 out of 5 (996 reviews)

      This family-friendly Rotorua hotel is located on a lake, just steps from Rotorua Arts Village and Tamaki Maori Village. Polynesian Spa is 0.2 mi (0.3 km) ...

      Millennium Hotel RotoruaNZ$119

      Millennium Hotel RotoruaNZ$119
      Wai Ora Lakeside Spa Resort

      Wai Ora Lakeside Spa Resort

      77 Robinson Avenue, Holden's Bay, Rotorua
         
         
        4.5 out of 5 (104 reviews)

        Situated in Rotorua, this luxury hotel is 0.3 mi (0.4 km) from Te Amorangi Museum and 2.9 mi (4.7 km) from Lake Rotoiti. Rotorua Golf Club and Government Gardens ...

        Wai Ora Lakeside Spa ResortNZ$87

        Wai Ora Lakeside Spa ResortNZ$87
        Koura Lodge

        Koura Lodge

        209 Kawaha Point Road, Kawaha Point, Rotorua
          5.0 out of 5.0
           
           
          5.0 out of 5 (1 reviews)

          Located in Rotorua, this beachfront lodge is next to a golf course and within 2 mi (3 km) of Skyline Rotorua and Rainbow Springs Kiwi Wildlife Park. Whakarewarewa: ...

          Koura LodgeGet Rates

          Prince's Gate Hotel

          Prince's Gate Hotel

          1057 Arawa Street, Rotorua, Bay of Plenty
            4.5 out of 5.0
             
             
            4.3 out of 5 (529 reviews)

            This family-friendly Rotorua hotel is located near the airport, within a 5-minute walk of Rotorua i-SITE Visitor Centre and Tamaki Maori Village. Polynesian ...

            Prince's Gate HotelNZ$80

            Prince's Gate HotelNZ$80
            Kawaha Point Gem

            Kawaha Point Gem

            199a Kawaha Point Rd, Rotorua, Rotorua
               
               

              Situated in Rotorua, this vacation home is within 2 mi (3 km) of Skyline Rotorua, Volcanic Hills Winery, and Rainbow Springs Kiwi Wildlife Park. Mitai Maori ...

              Kawaha Point GemGet Rates

              Rydges Rotorua

              Rydges Rotorua

              272 Fenton St, Rotorua
                4.0 out of 5.0
                 
                 
                4.3 out of 5 (986 reviews)

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

                Rydges RotoruaNZ$100

                Rydges RotoruaNZ$100
                Black Swan Lakeside Boutique Hotel

                Black Swan Lakeside Boutique Hotel

                171 Kawaha Point Road, Kawaha Point, Rotorua
                  5.0 out of 5.0
                   
                   
                  5.0 out of 5 (6 reviews)

                  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 ...

                  Black Swan Lakeside Boutique HotelNZ$530

                  Black Swan Lakeside Boutique HotelNZ$530
                  *Price based on the lowest price found within past 24 hours and based upon one night stay for two adults over the next thirty days. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.