Lake Rotoiti in the Bay of Plenty is one of the 16 lakes making up the Rotorua Lakes. Rotoiti lies to the North East of Lake Rotorua, which it is connected to by the Ohau Channel.
Although its name roughly translates as “Small Lake” it is in fact 15 km long and up to 3.5 km wide. The northeastern shore consists of steep sheltering cliffs and native bush, with much of the rest of the lake featuring picturesque rolling farm land.
Its fringes are largely uninhabited, except for a few small settlements scattered mostly along the southern and western shores. Lake Rotoiti is also unquestionably one the country’s greatest trout fisheries.
A major hotel is located in Okawa Bay (Amora Lake Resort) and there are some smaller exclusive boutique hotels and numerous home-stays around the lake. A large number of the properties around the lake are holiday homes or baches, and many owners rent these out via online holiday accommodation websites.
There is an active sailing club and considerable fleet of Classic and Wooden Boats on the lake, and these groups both contribute to the vibrancy of the local communities.
The lake also boasts the fabulous Manupirua Springs Hot Pools, which are only accessible by boat. Meanwhile the many bays and small beaches around the lake provide a wealth of spots to picnic and play.
If you don’t have a boat the major beaches accessible by car are at Ruato Bay and Hinehopu. Okere Falls meanwhile provides an excellent cafe just across the road from the water.
The Kaituna River which flows from Rotoiti to Maketu starts at Okere Falls, and there are a number of rafting companies offering a range of whitewater experiences on the river.
There is also a Reserve run by DOC at Okere Falls with bush walks, another reserve with an easy bushwalk through some beautiful native forest is at Hinehopu. As well as these reserves the drive into Lake Okataina is not to be missed, not only is it a beautiful drive, there are many short bushwalks along it, and a fantastic bushwalk around Okataina itself through to Lake Tarawera. This is realisticly a day’s walk.
For some ideas on the activities that Rotoiti provides, check the “Things to Do” page.