As summer makes a welcome return today, we at the Rotorua Daily Post thought it was timely to highlight some of the key swimming spots in our region.
Top 5 Rotorua lakes for swimming:
A fan favourite, Lake Tarawera is a fantastic fishing lake and is usually swarming with shore fly fishers and small boats. If a warmer swim is what you fancy, bring a kayak and paddle out to the hot water beach at Te Rata Bay - be mindful, it's a long kayak and will require a fair level of fitness.
Unique for its central forest location, Okataina sits between Lakes Rotorua and Tarawera and is entirely self-contained, with no outlets or inlets. Okataina has a fantastic sandy beach and a large grassy area ideal for picnics and lounging in the sun. After a leisurely walk to the Cascade Falls, along the Department of Conservation Te Auheke Track (Cascade Track), you can take a refreshing dip in the cool crystal-clear water.
Also called the "Blue Lake" because of the high volumes of pumice and rhyolite in the waters, this small lake is particularly popular with watersport enthusiasts. In the height of summer, it can be hard finding a spot on the shore with locals flocking to the area for a cool dip.
Rotoma can be found right between Rotorua and Whakatane, so it's a popular spot for visitors to both cities. In the middle of the lake is the sunken island of Motutara which can sometimes be seen when water levels drop. The lake's clear water makes it possible to see the island even when covered.
Also called Lake Ngakaro, this is a very small lake in a lovely rural setting. It's a great water-skiing spot, and is surrounded by picturesque farmland. Lake Okaro is the ideal spot to spend walking or horse riding around the paths before splashing around in its cool water.
- There are 18 fabulous lakes in our region, see www.rotoruanz.com/visit/explore/1465/lakes for details.