Lake Okareka is so quiet and peaceful, it’s hard to imagine that Rotorua city with its resident population of 70,000 (and annual overnight visitor population of 1.6 million) is just 10 minutes away. Surrounded by native bush and rural countryside and teaming with bird life, Lake Okareka is a place where you can truly get away from it all but know that the luxuries of city living are a stone’s throw away.
Lake Okareka is a natural playground and with 4 other lakes; Lake Rotokakahi (Green Lake), Lake Tikitapu (Blue Lake), Lake Okataina and Lake Tarawera within a few minutes drive, offers endless outdoor enjoyment and activities.
One of Lake Okareka’s many charms is that it is a calm, sheltered lake so is a wonderful spot in summer for picnics and swimming. Boyes Beach on Miller Rd or the Acacia Rd reserve are both very popular picnic spots. If you feel like working up an appetite before your picnic, take the Lake Okareka Walkway to the Okareka outlet where there is a beautiful beach and picnic spot that’s only accessible by foot or water.
The Lake Okareka Walkway is part of a local project to improve water quality and restore wildlife habitat in the area. This easy, mainly flat, 7 km walkway (with wheelchair access for part of the track) follows the edge of the lake through farmland, beaches, bush and wet lands for a real close-up look at the many native birds and water birds that call this lake home.
Lake Okareka is perfect for watersports. Kayaking is a great way to see the lake, and lets you get up close and personal with Okareka’s native flora and fauna. You can try your luck at fishing for the Lake’s many native rainbow trout. With both fly and boat fishing on offer, here’s your chance to impress friends and family with freshly caught trout for dinner. Water skiing is also a popular activity on the lake.
Some of NZ’s best mountain biking tracks are right at your back door with easy access from Lake Okareka to Rotorua’s Whakarewarewa Forest. Here you’ll find 40km of purpose built mountain biking trails and single tracks with something for everyone whether you are a beginner or hard core cyclist. Bring your own bike or hire one from Planet Bike who operate from the Waipa Mill Rd entrance to the forest.
Nearby Lake Tikitapu (Blue Lake) and Lake Rotokakahi (Green Lake) are ‘must visits!’ There’s no other way to describe these two lakes; they are stunning!
Lake Tikitapu is a small intimate lake with crystal-clear blue water, pumice sand beaches, BBQ areas, children’s playground, safe swimming and a local recreational reserve for boating, waterskiing, jet-skiing & kayaking. It’s no wonder this lake is popular with families. While you’re there, take the leisurely 2 hour walk around the lake which also offers views of Lake Rotokakahi (Green Lake). This lake is tapu (sacred) to local maori so you can’t swim, fish or boat in its waters but don’t let that stop you enjoying the wonderful views of this pristine, untouched lake.
For a change of pace, treat yourself or go with a group of friends to Careem Wellness Spa and Naturopathic Clinic and rejuvenate your mind and body with a relaxing spa treatment.
Lake Okareka, renown for its natural beauty and near the well-known tourist destination of Rotorua, is the perfect location for those wanting to enjoy the tranquility of serene surroundings while being close to the action.