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Lake Rotorua
Lake Rotorua

Lake Rotorua

Free admission
Lake Rotorua, Rotorua, North Island

The Basics

Lake Rotorua is surrounded by a geothermal playground and offers a variety of activities for travelers. Visitors may take a cruise through the Ohau Channel, which connects with Lake Rotoiti, and relax with a soak at the remote Manupirua Thermal Springs. Tour options include kayaking along the lakeshore, jetting around on a speedboat, or hurtling over falls on a white-water rafting trip.

Among other specialized tours are seaplane flights, which include a thrilling water takeoff and landing, and helicopter tours that offer aerial views of the city and lake. Adventure travelers may opt for a solo or tandem parasailing experience above Lake Rotorua. Horseback rides and 4WD buggy tours take travelers off the beaten path. Combine your adventure with a day trip to the Blue and Green lakes and bubbling geysers.

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Hobbiton, Rotorua and Waitomo Caves Day Trip in Luxury Minibus from Auckland
Hobbiton, Rotorua and Waitomo Caves Day Trip in Luxury Minibus from Auckland
star-4.5
$322.35 per adult
Traveler Favorite
Kelly was a great guide
Great 3 stop tour! Kelly was a great host and very kind to fellow passengers that made him repeat information when they didn't listen the first time. The caves were other worldly! Biggest geyser in southern hemisphere. Hobbiton movie set was a great tour too! Well worth the price! Take a pillow to nap between stops.
John_S, Mar 2020

Things to Know Before You Go

  • This natural feature is hard to miss, and is a must-see for visitors to Rotorua.

  • A large grassy area includes a children’s playground.

  • Wheelchair-accessible walkways make for easy strolling.

  • Outdoor activities last anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour, while day trips take you to other lakes and beyond.

  • A 10-minute Skyline Rotorua gondola ride guarantees panoramic views from the summit of Mt. Ngongotaha.

  • Don’t forget to bring sunscreen, sunglasses, a hat, and plenty of water.

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How to Get There

The shores of Lake Rotorua are only 10 minutes north of downtown Rotorua by car. Many tours and day trips offer convenient hotel pickup and drop-off, and there is ample parking available for those who opt to self-drive. Walking and public transport options are within easy reach of most accommodations.

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Trip ideas

How to Spend 1 Day in Rotorua

How to Spend 1 Day in Rotorua

Top Hot Springs in Rotorua

Top Hot Springs in Rotorua


When to Get There

Lake Rotorua is open year-round. Sunrise and sunset are especially good times for photo ops, whether you’re walking along the shore, taking a cruise, or setting out for a romantic evening stroll or family picnic. Sunny days in warmer months are ideal for water sports, but mud baths and thermal pools are perfect in winter.

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What’s in the Lake?

Though it’s not as large as neighboring Lake Taupo and not as nice for swimming, Lake Rotorua offers plentiful activities and views. The 920-foot (280-meter) elevation makes Rotorua’s water cooler than some other lakes in the region. The water’s green hue comes from sulfur and minerals. The lake is also alive with fish; go fly fishing for trout and try to reel in a big one!

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