Lake Rerewhakaaitu, the ‘lake of wandering spirits,’ lies at the base of the southern slopes of Mount Tarawera. It’s a relatively shallow lake, but despite its lack of depth, Rerewhakaaitu is usually beautifully clear.
Located 29 kilometres to the southeast of Rotorua, Lake Rerewhakaaitu was formed nearly 11,000 years ago and its surrounding land is rich with the volcanic soils from the Tarawera eruption. It’s a go-to spot for holidaymakers looking to kayak, boat and camp, with two popular camping grounds located at Ash Pit Bay and Aawatua Bay. The area around the lake is also noted for its wildlife, and boasts the largest breeding population of banded dotterel in the Rotorua district.
Farmers in the Lake Rerewhakaaitu catchment and in the outer catchment of Lake Tarawera are currently working towards updating their Farm Environment Plans to bring them in line with industry best practice. The Rotorua Te Arawa Lakes Programme provide financial and staff support to assist in making the effort successful, but this is largely a voluntary effort from the farmers who have established a successful community group to work together on water quality issues.