Lake Rotorua

Lake Rotorua 

With the city of Rotorua on its shores, Lake Rotorua is loved by locals and tourists alike. Surrounded by lush farmland, native bush and steaming geothermal springs and vents, the lake has a distinct dark green-yellow colour due to its high content of sulphur and other volcanic minerals. A fan of trout fishing? You’re in for a treat – Lake Rotorua is considered the most productive trout fishery in New Zealand.

Lake Rotorua is the largest lake in the district. Although beautiful and peaceful, this lake has a violent history – it was one of several large volcanoes in the region and was formed when an underlying magma chamber collapsed after a massive eruption around 200,000 years ago.




Mokoia Island, which sits in the centre of Lake Rotorua, is the most famous lake island in the country and linked to the love story of Hinemoa and Tutanekai. It tells the tale of young chief Tutanekai and his high-born love, Hinemoa, whose family forbade her from marrying him. To stop the young lovers meeting, the family beach the couple’s waka (canoe) but in answer, Tutanekai plays his flute, the music wafting across Lake Rotorua every night. Overcome with love, Hinemoa swims to him, buoyed by gourds, only to find Tutanekai has returned to his whare (house) to sleep. Arriving at Mokoia Island naked, she’s unable to enter the village, so she immerses herself in a hot pool. Tutanekai’s slave arrives and Hinemoa lures him, smashes his gourd and sends him back to his master. An enraged Tutanekai investigates, only to fall into Hinemoa’s embrace.

Today, Mokoia Island is a sanctuary for endangered birds and wildlife.

Current Lakes Closures / Events

13 Feb 2021 Hoe4Life Waka Hannahs Bay ROTORUA

Sat Feb 13 2021


Hoe4Life Waka / Patua Te Taniwha Charitable Trust


1100 - 1300 hours / Lake Usage ONLY

 No Closure

Adjacent Hannahs Bay

Confirmed Booking

3-4 Apr 2021 National Regatta Young Mariners ROTORUA Hannahs Bay

3-4 April 2021

Event / Who

National Regatta / Young Marimers 


0900 - 1700 hours both days 

Lake USAGE only  No Closure


Sailing/Rowing Regatta

Confirmed Booking

There are no health warnings.
Recent Monitoring Results
Click here to view full test analysis
There are currently no health warnings for Rotorua
Water Quality
Recent Blue Green Algae
Monitoring Results
Click here to view latest test results