Lake Rotoiti is one of the three largest lakes in the Rotorua region. Surrounded by lush native bush, it also features glow worm caves and a secluded hot pool complex.
Best explored by boat, Lake Rotoiti is popular for recreational boating, water sports and fishing. Lake tours on the luxury catamaran Tiua, operated by Pure Cruise, is a must-do.
The lake features a stunning lakeside hot pool complex, Manupirua Springs, accessible only by air or water. If you don’t have your own boat you can get there via jet boat with Katoa Lake Rotorua, kayak with River Rats, Canadian-style canoe with Waimarino Kayak Tours, floatplane with Volcanic Air, or with Pure Cruise.
The Kaituna River flows out from Lake Rotoiti, and is a favourite whitewater destination for rafting, kayaking and sledging. Areas of the river are also popular for swimming.
The river's local community of Okere Falls is home to adventure seekers. Rafting the world's highest commercially rafted 7-metre Tutea Falls on the Kaituna River is a definite bucket-list activity.
The popular eco-friendly café Okere Falls Store is open 7 days a week.
Many of the Rotorua lakes were named by Ihenga, a grandson of the Arawa canoe, Tamatekapua. The name 'Rotorua' means small lake, as the bay originally discovered by Ihenga made it appear to be much smaller than it really is.
Okere Falls Track is a beautiful short walk with viewing platforms above the Kaituna River rapids and Tutea Falls.
Hinehopu/Hongi’s Track connects Lake Rotoiti to Lake Rotoehu through stunning native forest. The trail is 2.2km and passes by a sacred matai tree on State Highway 30, rich in cultural importance as well as scenic value. The area is named after both the Ngapuhi warrior Hongi and a Māori chieftaness Hinehopu. Pack a picnic and enjoy the beautiful Korokitewao Bay on the Lake Rotoiti end of the track.
In the small settlement of Mourea, there’s a short wetland walk alongside the Ohau Channel, which connects lakes Rotoiti and Rotorua. The calm, slower current makes is a popular passage for stand up paddleboarding, swimming, trout fishing and bird watching.
Accommodation & Camping
Lake Rotoiti has a variety of accommodation options, including VR Rotorua Lake Resort on the Rotoiti lakefront at Okawa Bay, and the Ramada Resort Rotorua Marama sits along the Ohau Channel.
Lake Rotoiti Holiday Park is a small, friendly, privately owned holiday park situated close to the Okere Falls area, and there are also facilities for self-contained campers at Trout Pools Reserve.