Rotorua Eastern Lakes

Kayaking/ Canoeing

There is no shortage of places to kayak around the Rotorua Eastern Lakes gem with four of Rotorua’s 10 lakes to choose from.  All these lakes offer kayaking, canoeing and stand up paddling options to suit all levels of confidence and experience.

Lake Okareka

Lake Okareka covers a surface area of 3.5 square kilometres and it is around a 10km trip to circumnavigate the lake. From Rotorua follow Tarawera Rd, the Okareka Rd. When you reach the settlement of Okareka turn left onto Millar Rd.  Keep following this road if you want to head to the Okareka campsite or you can park at Boyes Beach also on Miller road and launch from there. Carparking and toilets are provided.

Google map link:,+Lake+Okataina+3074/@-38.1597133,176.3593449,18z/data=!4m2!3m1!1s0x6d6e9bcf6c2a156b:0xae826e0d2d558df2

Lake Okataina

Lake Okataina is considered one of Rotorua’s most beautiful lakes as it is completely encircled by native bush.  Okataina has some very sheltered and scenic secluded beaches.  It is quite a remote lake with access only available from Lake Okataina road, via SH30 (Whakatane/ Rotorua Highway) at Ruato, 22 km from Rotorua. Carparking and toilets are provided.

Google map link:,+Lake+Okataina+3074/@-38.0935064,176.4164855,15z/data=!4m2!3m1!1s0x6d6e9bcf6c2a156b:0xae826e0d2d558df2

Lake Tikitapu (Blue Lake)

Lake Tikitapu or Blue Lake, is the smallest of four small lakes lying between Lake Rotorua and Lake Tarawera.  The lake has a surface area of 1.4 square kilometres and is easily accessed from Rotorua.  It is very popular for multisport events, triathlons and often canoe racing and rowing is held here. Tikitapu is 7km from Rotorua on Tarawera Rd. Carparking and toilets are provided.

Google map link:,+Lake+Okataina+3074/@-38.1858721,176.3264062,15z/data=!4m2!3m1!1s0x6d6e9bcf6c2a156b:0xae826e0d2d558df2

Lake Tarawera

Lake Tarawera is the second largest lake in the Rotorua area and can be accessed 18km from Rotorua via Tarawera Rd.  A popular weekend excursion is to paddle to 10km to Hot Water Beach on the lake’s southern shore away where you can stay at the campground, enjoy the natural hot springs in the bay and paddle back the next day. If you are going to camp there you must book a campsite and pay the fees prior to arrival. Lake conditions can change quickly, so check weather forecasts before setting out. The best launching places are Tarawera Landing or off Spencer Road.