Lake Rotoiti, meaning ‘the small lake’, is actually a relatively large lake lying to the east of Rotorua. It’s a fantastic spot for fishing and boating, with the stunning Manupirua Hot Springs on its shores (which are only accessible by boat).
The Hinehopu 2.2km walking track, running from Lake Rotoiti to Lake Rotoehu through a breathtaking forest of rimu, tawa, pukatea and rewarewa, is also popular year-round.
Lake Rotoiti is linked to Lake Rotorua via the Ohau Channel, which means the quality of the water in Lake Rotorua has a significant effect on Lake Rotoiti. In 2008, a 1,300-metre-long wall was constructed to prevent water with a high nutrient content from flowing directly into Lake Rotoiti. As a result, more than 70 percent of the nutrients that were flowing into the lake have now been diverted down the Kaituna River.
This strategy dramatically improved water quality in Lake Rotoiti from its crisis point in the mid-2000s, and it’s thankfully now stable. The Bay of Plenty Regional Council has been hard at work controlling catfish in the lake and will continue to manage the pest ongoing.
The long term plan for Lake Rotoiti is to eventually remove the Ohau Diversion wall to enable the waters to mix again, once the inflow of nutrients to Lake Rotorua has reduced.