Lake Tarawera

Vacation Travel Guide
Lake Tarawera showing swimming and a beach as well as a small group of people

Fish for rainbow trout, swim at a beach with hot spring water and hike to waterfalls set amid majestic scenery at this vast, intense-blue lake.

Watersports and jaw-dropping natural beauty feature at beautiful Lake Tarawera. This is one of New Zealand’s largest lakes and a superb place to enjoy boating, fishing and hiking activities. Once home to a collection of Māori settlements, tragedy struck Lake Tarawera in 1886 when the peaks of Mount Tarawera erupted and buried the communities. The eruptions rose the lake by around 39 feet (12 meters) and left behind an area of tranquil landscapes.

A great way to experience the lake and its surrounding is along picturesque trails. The Isthmus Track, example, connects the southernmost shores with Lake Rotomahana. Follow the banks of the Tarawera River to Tarawera Falls, where milky-white water flows out of cracks in the cliffs. Set out on the 7.5-mile (12-kilometer) round trip to Humphries Bay picnic site.

Visit the Buried Village of Te Wairoa to see the archaeological remains of one of the Māori villages destroyed by the eruption. Browse interactive museum exhibits about the lake’s history. Children can have fun solving clues on an archaeological treasure hunt. Marvel at the panoramic views from Waitoharuru Valley Lookout.

Wander through untamed scrubland from Te Wairoa to Hot Water Beach. Take a therapeutic swim in the beach’s bubbling, curative water. Swimming is also possible in the crystalline water at beaches scattered around the lakeshore. Cruises depart from the boat landings and present an alternative view of the picture-perfect surroundings. Go fishing for trophy-sized rainbow trout from October to June.

The lake is just a 25-minute drive from Rotorua and about a 3-hour journey by car from Auckland. Parking is available at the boat jetties. Organized tours operate regularly from Rotorua and include activities such as walking and boat trips.

You can visit Lake Tarawera year-round, although be prepared for cooler temperatures from June to August.

Top Hotels Close to Lake Tarawera

The Woolshed Spencer Lodge Estate
The Woolshed Spencer Lodge Estate
4 out of 5
Spencer Road, \N, Lake Tarawera, Bay of Planty
Situated in Lake Tarawera, this vacation home is 0.1 mi (0.2 km) from Lake Tarawera and within 3 mi (5 km) of Buried Village and Whakarewarewa Hot Springs. Mount ...
Get rates
The Woolshed Spencer Lodge Estate
Your dream holiday; mountain, lake, boat ramp, playground, beach seconds away
Your dream holiday; mountain, lake, boat ramp, playground, beach seconds away
Lake Tarawera, Bay of Plenty Region
This family-friendly Lake Tarawera vacation home is located on the beach, within 3 mi (5 km) of Lake Tarawera and Buried Village. Mount Tarawera and Lake Rotokakahi ...
5/5Exceptional! (1 review)
Fabulous hospitality. Fabulously comfortable. Fabulous surroundings. Fabulous all round.
"Murray and Kathy were extremely welcoming and made us feel at home straight away. The property is set in beautiful countryside by the Lake where you can swim or even use their Kayaks. The property is extremely clean and bright and airy. We had our breakfast outside looking at the lake. Fruit and ..."

Reviewed on Mar 6, 2018

Get rates
Your dream holiday; mountain, lake, boat ramp, playground, beach seconds away
Boat Shed at Lake Tarawera - BACH OF THE YEAR
Boat Shed at Lake Tarawera - BACH OF THE YEAR
Lake Tarawera, Bay of Plenty Region
This family-friendly Lake Tarawera vacation home is located on the beach, within 3 mi (5 km) of Lake Tarawera and Buried Village. Mount Tarawera and Lake Rotokakahi ...
4.9/5Exceptional! (91 reviews)
Perfect getaway
"We had a great stay at The Boatshed. Beautiful house with amazing views."

Reviewed on Aug 16, 2021

Get rates
Boat Shed at Lake Tarawera - BACH OF THE YEAR
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Popular places to visit in Lake Tarawera

Lake Tarawera


Best Lodging Options Near Lake Tarawera

The Woolshed Spencer Lodge Estate
The Woolshed Spencer Lodge Estate
4 out of 5
Spencer Road, \N, Lake Tarawera, Bay of Planty
The Woolshed Spencer Lodge Estate
Your dream holiday; mountain, lake, boat ramp, playground, beach seconds away
Your dream holiday; mountain, lake, boat ramp, playground, beach seconds away
Lake Tarawera, Bay of Plenty Region
Your dream holiday; mountain, lake, boat ramp, playground, beach seconds away
Boat Shed at Lake Tarawera - BACH OF THE YEAR
Boat Shed at Lake Tarawera - BACH OF THE YEAR
Lake Tarawera, Bay of Plenty Region
Boat Shed at Lake Tarawera - BACH OF THE YEAR
Mana Sarovar
Mana Sarovar
4 out of 5
163 Spencer Road, Lake Tarawera
Mana Sarovar
Lakefront Tarawera - Lake Tarawera Holiday Home
Lakefront Tarawera - Lake Tarawera Holiday Home
Lake Tarawera, Bay of Plenty Region
Lakefront Tarawera - Lake Tarawera Holiday Home
Tarawera Lakefront - Lake Tarawera Holiday Home
Tarawera Lakefront - Lake Tarawera Holiday Home
Lake Tarawera, Bay of Plenty Region
Tarawera Lakefront - Lake Tarawera Holiday Home
Winstone Cottage - Waterfront Lake Tarawera Holiday Home
Winstone Cottage - Waterfront Lake Tarawera Holiday Home
Lake Tarawera, Bay of Plenty Region
Winstone Cottage - Waterfront Lake Tarawera Holiday Home
Mana Sarovar - Designer Lake Tarawera Holiday Home
Mana Sarovar - Designer Lake Tarawera Holiday Home
Lake Tarawera, Bay of Plenty Region
Mana Sarovar - Designer Lake Tarawera Holiday Home
The Lakeview Chalet - Lake Tarawera Holiday Home
The Lakeview Chalet - Lake Tarawera Holiday Home
Lake Tarawera, Bay of Plenty Region
The Lakeview Chalet - Lake Tarawera Holiday Home
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.