Despite its pretty views and charming, leafy walks, this picturesque lake manages to remain relatively crowd-free and peaceful.
Lake Okareka’s deep, blue waters are bordered by wooded, undulating hills. Walk through forests and relax on the shore while you fish for juicy trout.
This lake is known to the area’s Maori population as the “Lake of Sweet Food” as tribes once grew sweet potatoes in the area’s lush, sloping fields. Today, the lake, which is out of sight from the main tourist routes, remains little-visited by outsiders though a sizeable permanent population is present on the western shore. Enjoy the quietude and sense of serenity at this under-the-radar destination.
Lace up your boots for a hike around the forest-covered edges of the lake. Amble along in the shade of indigenous ferns and trees, stopping occasionally to marvel at spectacular views of the water. Along the trails are secluded coves as well as big open fields that stretch out into the distance from the southern shoreline. Consider packing a picnic and stopping to pause and eat at whatever scenic spot appeals to you most.
Fishing fans can cast off into the pristine waters here. Find several prime fishing bays along the western shore. Among the most fruitful fishing spots is Boyes Beach at the lake’s northwest end. The waters here are well-stocked with rainbow trout so it shouldn’t be too long before a fish tugs at your line. Fishing from a boat is also popular here, particularly in the northern area of the lake.
Lake Okareka is a 20-minute drive southeast of Rotorua. Parking is available at Boyes Beach on the northwestern side of the lake. Accommodation is available around Okareka should you want to stay a few nights and explore the lake and surrounding area even further.