Lake Rotoehu, North Island, New Zealand

For the truly traditional New Zealand holiday, one must spend a week or two at Lake Rotoehu! Located in the Rotorua District of the Bay of Plenty Region, North Island, it is the middle lake in a chain of three lying northeast of Rotorua. Like its neighboring lakes Rotoiti and Rotoma, Rotoehu formed when lava blocked a series of valleys in the north of the Okataina caldera….
Keep scrolling to read more.

Welcome to the ultimate guide to Lake Rotoehu! Article topics include:

Looking for Lake Rotoehu cabins or other accommodations? Save time and use this interactive map to find, compare and book at the best rates. Or explore more of our favorite travel partners.

All About Lake Rotoehu, New Zealand

For the truly traditional New Zealand holiday, one must spend a week or two at Lake Rotoehu! Located in the Rotorua District of the Bay of Plenty Region, North Island, it is the middle lake in a chain of three lying northeast of Rotorua. Like its neighboring lakes Rotoiti and Rotoma, Rotoehu formed when lava blocked a series of valleys in the north of the Okataina caldera. Although Lake Rotoehu, like Rotoma, has no outlet stream, outflow occurs through a sinkhole in one of the northern arms. Inflow occurs via several small streams and suspected subterranean connections with Lake Rotoma. Unlike Lake Rotoma, Lake Rotoehu is quite shallow.

Lake Rotoehu’s shoreline holds a number of the traditional baches that have been a New Zealand vacation mainstay for at least sixty years. The ‘bach’ as its called on the North Island is short for bachelor pad and originally meant a rude shelter without electricity or plumbing built from scrounged materials and furnished with hand-me-down furnishings. The nickname has evolved to mean vacation home and is now used to describe all types of holiday and year-round lakefront homes, some very luxurious. Because lakefront property has increasingly come under the protection of conservation groups and Maori tribal rights, the few baches that appear on the real estate market are soon snapped up. On Lake Rotoehu, existing dwellings are only found in two areas of the lake; Otautu Bay and Kennedy Bay, both on the eastern shore. The majority of the northern and western reaches of the lake are farmland so many of the bays are accessible only by boat. Current restoration efforts are fencing livestock away from the lakeshore and it is being replanted in native plants to restore wetland areas. It is hoped these efforts will improve water quality and remove algae blooms that have degraded water quality.

Lake Rotoehu has an excellent trout fishery, with rainbow trout of good size being take on a regular basis. The lake is a part of the Te Arawa Lakes Trust: the lake bottom has reverted to Maori tribal ownership and special fishing regulations apply. Regulations are available at any Dept of Conservation office. There are several areas along Highway 30 where small boats may be launched and a more formal boat launch at Kennedy Bay is commonly used for larger craft.

Lake Rotoehu is used for all types of water sports, from power boating, canoeing, kayaking, tubing, windsurfing and pontooning. Most people wishing to water ski, jet ski or sail larger boats head for Lake Rotoma about two miles away where there is a larger expanse of open water and no submerged vegetation. This keeps Lake Rotoehu unusually calm and serene – an excellent place to view birds and wildlife by canoe or kayak. The solitude makes a vacation here most relaxing and restful and is one reason vacation rentals here are in high demand. Visitors can enjoy a leisurely day paddling to the far reaches of the many arms of the lake with little interference from powered water craft. Although there is no formal settlement at Lake Rotoehu, the village of Rotoma is two miles east of the lake and has nearly every daily convenience the visitor would want.

Lake Rotoehu is ideally located halfway between Rotorua and Whakatane on the eastern Bay of Plenty. The lake is conveniently accessible to a great many of the historical and geothermal locations in the area. Lake Rotoehu has its own geothermal attraction in the form of Waitangi Soda Springs, located at the southeastern corner of the lake. Here, for a nominal fee, visitors may swim in hot mineral baths long held sacred by local Maori peoples.

Holiday visitors often use Lake Rotoehu as a base for visiting the attractions of the Rotorua District. The center of geothermal activity in the Bay of Plenty region, the Rotorua area is filled with historic mineral and sulfur baths, boiling mud pools, geysers and odd geological features. Rotorua Museum is a good resource for locating these sometimes hidden attractions. Hiking and mountain biking paths abound, horse rental for horseback riding is available and many extreme and unusual sports activities are found around Rotorua. Mokoia Island in Lake Rotorua is a wildlife sanctuary containing many endangered birds that can be viewed via charter tour. Visits to an authentic Maori village with traditionally prepared meal are available by reservation.

Thirty miles east of Lake Rotoehu, Whakatane on the Bay of Plenty is the gateway to beautiful beaches, charter sea fishing, sea kayaking, diving, whale-watching, swimming with dolphins and viewing an active volcano. After a day of sampling all of the attractions the village has to offer, the visitor can head back to Lake Rotoehu for a barbecue on the deck of their lodgings overlooking the water. Perhaps a leisurely paddle by canoe along the shore or a campfire on the beach as the sun sets would be the perfect way to end your perfect day.

So, check out vacation rentals at Lake Rotoehu. You may find the perfect ‘bach’ to be rented by the week or the season. There’s no doubt you’ll want to come back again and again.

Things to Do at Lake Rotoehu

These are some activities in the Lake Rotoehu, New Zealand area visitors can enjoy:

  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Jet Skiing
  • Water Skiing
  • Tubing
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Horseback Riding
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • Museum

What Kind of Fish Are in Lake Rotoehu?

Lake Rotoehu has been known to have the following fish species:

  • Rainbow Trout
  • Trout

Find Places to Stay at Lake Rotoehu

If you’re considering a Lake Rotoehu lake house rental or hotel, we’ve made it super easy to find the best rates and compare vacation accommodations at a glance. Save time using this interactive map below.

Note: These are affiliate links and we may earn a small commission if you click and make a purchase. Read our full disclosure policy here.

More Sites to Book a Lake Rotoehu Vacation

Our interactive Lake Rotoehu lodging map above is an easy tool for comparing VRBO rental homes and nearby hotels with, but there could be times when you need to expand your search for different types of accommodations. Here are some other lake lodging partners we recommend:

Check TripAdvisor
Check Expedia
Find a Campspot
All Travel Resources

Lake Rotoehu Statistics & Helpful Links


Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Not Dammed

Surface Area: 2,002 acres

Shoreline Length: 15 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 968 feet

Average Depth: 27 feet

Maximum Depth: 44 feet

Water Volume: 49,454 acre-feet

Trophic State: Eutrophic

More local lakes to explore in this area:

We strive to keep information on LakeLubbers as accurate as possible. If you’ve found something here that needs updating, please touch base by filling out our Content Correction form.

Shop Lake Rotoehu Gifts

Custom Lake Tumblers

Create Your Own Captain / First Mate Custom 20oz Tumbler

Custom Lake T Shirt

Create Your Personalized My Boat My Rules Unisex T-Shirt

Custom Lake Coffee Mug - On Lake Time

Create a Custom Coffee Mug – 11oz or 15oz


More Lake Rotoehu news from

  • Advertise your vacation rental property or local business: DETAILS HERE
  • The Lake Rotoehu forum has been discontinued: HERE’S WHY
  • New Lake Rotoehu photos coming soon!
  • You’re invited to join our lake-lovin’ community on Facebook and Instagram!
  • Share this Lake Rotoehu article with your fellow LakeLubbers: