Lake Rotoehu, North Island, New Zealand

Lake Locations:

New Zealand - North Island - Rotorua -

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

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

Fish species found at Lake Rotoehu

  • Rainbow Trout
  • Trout

Lake Rotoehu Photo Gallery

Lake Rotoehu Statistics & Helpful Links

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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

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Trophic State | LakeLubbers

Trophic State measures the level of algae and nutrients in a lake.

An oligotrophic lake is very clear (blue in color) and does not support much plant or fish life. A hyper-oligotrophic lake is the clearest of all lakes, and is nearly devoid of plants and fish.

A mesotrophic lake is slightly green and supports a moderate degree of plant and fish life. A lake's most desired trophic state is generally this mid-point - the mesotrophic state.

A eutrophic lake is somewhat murky and supports a large amount of plant and fish life. A hypereutrophic lake is clouded with algae, plant life, and fish life. A eutrophic or hyper-eutrophic lake can be difficult to navigate by boat - and is often an unpleasant place to swim.

The use of phosphorus-rich and nitrogen-rich fertilizer on lawns and golf courses surrounding a lake can cause it to become eutrophic or hypereutrophic.


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Catchment or Drainage Area | LakeLubbers

This is the surrounding area that drains into a lake, including land, rivers and their tributaries. This is also known as the lake's "catchment basin".

Small lakes at the highest peaks of mountains have small drainage areas. The world's oceans have the largest drainage areas.


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Lake-Area Population | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated number of people who live in a house with a view of a lake, plus those who self-describe the lake as their home, for example: "I live at Smith Mountain Lake."


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Water Residence Time | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated time that it takes for an amount of water equal to the entire volume of a lake to flow out of - or evaporate from - the lake.

Residence Time can be as short as a few days for fast-flowing small lakes, and can exceed 100 years for slow-flowing large lakes.


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Completion Year | LakeLubbers

This is the year that a reservoir was first filled to the reservoir's normal elevation - or the year that a natural lake was first dammed. A large reservoir can take more than a year to fill after its dam is first closed.

The Grand Anicut in southern India is generally considered the world's oldest dam that still operates. Grand Anicut was constructed in the second century BC. It now impounds an irrigation network that includes roughly one million acres.

You can find many of the the world's newest reservoirs on LakeLubbers. Many of the world's oldest reservoirs appear on the last page of that list.


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Water Volume | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated volume of water that a lake contains -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. By this measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal.

You can find many of the the world's largest lakes (by water volume) on LakeLubbers.

Water Volume can be measured in acre-feet, in cubic miles, or in cubic kilometers. One acre-foot is the amount of water needed to cover one acre (43,560 square feet) to a depth of one foot. One cubic mile equals 3,379,200 acre-feet. One cubic kilometer equals 810,713 acre-feet.

1 acre-foot is equal to 325,851 US gallons. Siberia's Lake Baikal contains about 6,276,367,740,000,000 gallons of freshwater - nearly 1 million gallons for every living person on earth.

The other - and more widely used - measure of a lake's size is the lake's surface acreage. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is North America's Lake Superior.


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Maximum Depth | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated greatest depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. The world's deepest lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal; that lake's maximum depth is estimated at 5,314 feet.

You can find many of the the world's deepest lakes on LakeLubbers. If you select the last page of that list, you will find the (maximum depth of) the shallowest lakes in our database.


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Average Depth | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated average depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. If the water volume and surface area of a lake are known, an estimate of the lake's average depth can be calculated:

Water volume ÷ Surface Area = Average Depth

Example: 1,000,000 acre-feet ÷ 20,000 acres = 50 feet average depth


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Maximum Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's highest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can occur during flooding. A lake's highest possible maximum elevation is usually the top of the lake's dam or spillway.

At lakes that include residential development, government regulations usually forbid the construction of homes below a lake's maximum elevation.


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Minimum Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's lowest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can be reasonably expected to occur. Low lake levels can occur due to deliberate seasonal draw downs for irrigation or impending snow melt, reduced water inflows, drought and evaporation, residential or commercial water demands, and hydropower generation.

Some lakes' minimum and maximum elevations are virtually the same. Lakes that generate hydropower may vary by several feet - according to power demand. Lakes whose primary purpose is to prevent flooding can seasonally vary by 100 feet or more.

When some lakes reach their minimum elevation, their boat ramps may not be long enough to permit boat access - and boats docked on shallow parts of the lake may end up on dry ground. In those cases, kayakers and shore-based anglers may be among the few happy recreational users of the lake.


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Normal Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's normal water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level. For a reservoir, this water level is also known as "full pond" or "full pool".

You can find many of the world's highest-elevated lakes on LakeLubbers. Lakes with the lowest elevations (known by LakeLubbers) are shown on the final page of that list.


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Shoreline Length | LakeLubbers

This is the length of the exterior shoreline around a lake - measured at the lake's normal elevation. The shoreline length can be considerably shorter or longer when lake water levels are lower or higher than normal.

A lake with many coves has a much longer shoreline than a lake of similar surface area that is nearly circular in shape.

When known, the shoreline miles that we report in our statistics include only the lake's exterior shoreline, and exclude the shorelines of islands located within a lake's boundaries. In lakes with many islands, those islands' combined shorelines may exceed a lake's exterior shoreline.

You can find many of the world's longest-shoreline lakes on Lakelubbers.


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Surface Area | LakeLubbers

This is the area (acreage, square kilometers, etc.) of the top surface area of a lake - measured at a lake's normal elevation. The surface area can be considerably smaller or larger when lake levels are lower or higher than normal. North America's Lake Superior is the world's largest freshwater lake by this measure.

The other measure of a lake's size is the lake's water volume. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Lake Baikal in Siberia.

You can find many of the world's largest lakes (acres) on Lakelubbers. There is no widely-accepted minimum surface area that defines a lake. What Lakelubbers describes as a lake, you might call a pond. The smallest lake that Lakelubbers currently includes is Hawaii's 2-acre Lake Waiau.


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Water Level Control | LakeLubbers

This is the organization that controls water releases or outflows from the lake or reservoir. In the USA, this is often the US Army Corps of Engineers, a power company, a municipal water system, an irrigation district, or a paper manufacturing company. In the case of private or gated lakes, a homeowners' association may be the lake's controlling authority.

Many lakes cross borders, including North America's Great Lakes. The control of such lakes and their coveted freshwater may be amicably shared - or hotly disputed.

"Water wars" continue at many lakes as growing populations and crop irrigation needs compete for the freshwater that lakes contain.


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Lake Type | LakeLubbers

There are 3 basic types of lakes that are currently included on LakeLubbers. 2 types may be dammed or not dammed, producing 5 classifications.

- A Reservoir is a man-made freshwater lake that is usually created by damming rivers.

- A Natural Freshwater Lake occurs naturally - often by glacial activity - and has a salinity of less than 30 parts per thousand. It may be dammed to produce electricity or for other reasons.

- A Natural Saltwater Lake occurs naturally and has a salinity of more than 30 parts per thousand (ppt). It may be dammed.

"Brackish" water may be categorized as freshwater or saltwater, depending on its salt content (salinity). Oligohaline water has less than 15 ppt of salt. Mesohaline water has 15-29 ppt. Polyhaline has 30-335 ppt.


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