Due to coronavirus (COVID-19) travel advisories, some destinations may be unavailable for certain dates. Find out more.
Due to coronavirus (COVID-19) travel advisories, some destinations may be unavailable for certain dates. Find out more.
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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 around Lake Rotorua


Best Lodging Options Near Lake Rotorua

See all 405 Properties near Lake Rotorua
Novotel Rotorua Lakeside ¥10,695
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 a shopping district, within a 15-minute walk of Matariki Hangi & Maori Cultural Performance and Polynesian Spa. Skyline Rotorua and Lake Rotorua are also within 3 mi (5 km).

    Lake Rotorua Hotel ¥6,875
    Lake Rotorua Hotel

    Lake Rotorua Hotel

    131 Lake Road, Koutu, Rotorua
       
      4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Situated in the suburbs, this motel is within 2 mi (3 km) of Rotorua Hospital, Tamaki Maori Village, and Rotorua Central Mall. Skyline Rotorua and Polynesian Spa are also within 2 mi (3 km).

      Peppers On The Point - Lake Rotorua ¥44,952
      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 0.6 mi (1 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 mi (3 km).

        Koura Lodge ¥16,173
        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 Redwoods Whakarewarewa Forest are also within 6 mi (10 km).

          Millennium Hotel Rotorua ¥9,659
          Millennium Hotel Rotorua

          Millennium Hotel Rotorua

          1270 Hinemaru Street, Rotorua
             
            4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

            This family-friendly Rotorua hotel is located near the boardwalk, within a 5-minute walk of Rotorua Arts Village and Polynesian Spa. Rotorua Central Mall and Rotorua Night Market are also within 10 minutes.

            Regent of Rotorua ¥9,460
            Regent of Rotorua

            Regent of Rotorua

            1191 Pukaki St, Rotorua
               
              4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

              Situated in Rotorua, this luxury hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Eat Street and Polynesian Spa. Skyline Rotorua and Lake Rotorua are also within 3 mi (5 km).

              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 vacation home is 0.5 mi (0.9 km) from Lake Rotorua and 1.5 mi (2.5 km) from Skyline Rotorua. Volcanic Hills Winery and Rainbow Springs Kiwi Wildlife Park are also within 2 mi (3 km).

                Rydges Rotorua ¥17,050
                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 mi (2 km) of Racing Rotorua and Polynesian Spa. Whakarewarewa Hot Springs and Rotorua Central Mall are also within 1 mi (2 km).