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

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 ...
4.9/5 Exceptional! (94 reviews)
Beautiful spot, inside modern & nicely furnished, great having a seperate tv room & pizza oven fab
"Fantastic !"

Reviewed on Oct 12, 2021

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Boat Shed at Lake Tarawera - BACH OF THE YEAR
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 ...
5/5 Exceptional! (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

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Your dream holiday; mountain, lake, boat ramp, playground, beach seconds away
Mana Sarovar
Mana Sarovar
4 out of 5
163 Spencer Road, Lake Tarawera
Situated in Lake Tarawera, this vacation home is 0.1 mi (0.1 km) from Lake Tarawera and 2.8 mi (4.5 km) from Buried Village. Lake Rotokakahi and Lake Tikitapu ...
4.5/5 Wonderful! (2 reviews)
"The design of the house and the view are fantastic. Only thing is wifi very weak. Bit overall super nice."

Reviewed on Dec 31, 2019

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Mana Sarovar
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.

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Best Lodging Options Near Lake Tarawera

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
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
Mana Sarovar
Mana Sarovar
4 out of 5
163 Spencer Road, Lake Tarawera
Mana Sarovar
Tarawera Lakefront - Lake Tarawera Holiday Home
Tarawera Lakefront - Lake Tarawera Holiday Home
Lake Tarawera, Bay of Plenty Region
Tarawera Lakefront - Lake Tarawera Holiday Home
Lakefront Tarawera - Lake Tarawera Holiday Home
Lakefront Tarawera - Lake Tarawera Holiday Home
Lake Tarawera, Bay of Plenty Region
Lakefront Tarawera - 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 (price incl. cleaning/linen) - Designer Lake Tarawera Holiday Home
Mana Sarovar (price incl. cleaning/linen) - Designer Lake Tarawera Holiday Home
Lake Tarawera, Bay of Plenty Region
Mana Sarovar (price incl. cleaning/linen) - 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
Romantic shepherds hut with lake and mountain views
Romantic shepherds hut with lake and mountain views
Lake Tarawera, Bay of Plenty Region
Romantic shepherds hut with lake and mountain views
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.