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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 198 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
     
     
    4.9 out of 5 (17 reviews)

    Situated near the beach in Rotorua, this luxury lodge is close to Skyline Rotorua, Ogo, and Rainbow Springs Kiwi Wildlife Park. Also nearby are Mitai Maori Village ...

    Koura Lodge

    Koura Lodge

    209 Kawaha Point Road, 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 6 mi (10 km) of Skyline Rotorua, Rainbow Springs Kiwi Wildlife Park, and Whakarewarewa: ...

      Koura LodgeNZ$478

      Koura LodgeNZ$478
      Novotel Rotorua Lakeside

      Novotel Rotorua Lakeside

      9-11 Tutanekai St, Rotorua
        4.5 out of 5.0
         
         
        4.4 out of 5 (502 reviews)

        This family-friendly Rotorua hotel is located in a shopping district, just steps from Matariki Hangi & Maori Cultural Performance and Eat Street. Skyline Rotorua ...

        Novotel Rotorua LakesideNZ$221

        Novotel Rotorua LakesideNZ$221
        Wai Ora Lakeside Spa Resort

        Wai Ora Lakeside Spa Resort

        77 Robinson Avenue, Holden's Bay, Rotorua
          4.5 out of 5.0
           
           
          4.5 out of 5 (88 reviews)

          Situated in Rotorua, this luxury hotel is within 6 mi (10 km) of Te Amorangi Museum, Lake Rotoiti, and Tamaki Maori Village. Polynesian Spa and Whakarewarewa ...

          Wai Ora Lakeside Spa ResortNZ$138

          Wai Ora Lakeside Spa ResortNZ$138
          Black Swan Lakeside Boutique Hotel

          Black Swan Lakeside Boutique Hotel

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

            Nestled on the beach, this Rotorua hotel is within 6 mi (10 km) of Lake Rotorua, Government Gardens Golf, and Springfield Golf Club. Rotorua Golf Club and Mokoia ...

            Black Swan Lakeside Boutique HotelNZ$625

            Black Swan Lakeside Boutique HotelNZ$625
            Lakeview Holiday Home

            Lakeview Holiday Home

            5 Naera Place, Rotorua
              3.5 out of 5.0
               
               

              Situated in Rotorua, this vacation home is within 6 mi (10 km) of Lake Rotorua, Skyline Rotorua, and Tamaki Maori Village. Polynesian Spa and Mokoia Island are ...

              Lakeview Holiday HomeNZ$561

              Lakeview Holiday HomeNZ$561
              Millennium Hotel Rotorua

              Millennium Hotel Rotorua

              1270 Hinemaru Street, Rotorua
                4.5 out of 5.0
                 
                 
                4.4 out of 5 (1,003 reviews)

                This family-friendly Rotorua hotel is located on a lake, just steps from Rotorua Arts Village and Tamaki Maori Village. Skyline Rotorua and Rainbow Springs Kiwi ...

                Millennium Hotel RotoruaNZ$173

                Millennium Hotel RotoruaNZ$173
                Rydges Rotorua

                Rydges Rotorua

                272 Fenton St, Rotorua
                  4.0 out of 5.0
                   
                   
                  4.3 out of 5 (1,017 reviews)

                  Located in Fenton Street, this luxury hotel is within 6 mi (10 km) of Racing Rotorua, Tamaki Maori Village, and Polynesian Spa. Skyline Rotorua and Lake Rotorua ...

                  Rydges RotoruaNZ$121

                  Rydges RotoruaNZ$121

                  * Prices reflect the lowest "base rate" found over the next 30 days. Rates are subject to change and may not include taxes and fees, hotel service charges, extra person charges, or incidentals, such as room service. All rates are displayed in USD unless otherwise noted. Converted rates are provided for your convenience. They are based on today's exchange rate, but the hotel will charge you in the local currency.