Two people are dead after a two-car crash at Okere Falls, near Rotorua, last night.

The driver of a Mitsubishi Colt lost control on a corner on State Highway 33, heading toward Rotorua, and crossed the centre line, colliding with a Mazda Proceed 4x4 towing a boat, police said.

The Mitsubishi's driver and a passenger died at the scene, while the two adults and two children in the Mazda suffered moderate injuries and were taken to hospital by ambulance.

The crash occurred at the junction of SH33 and Okere Falls Rd, 20km northeast of Rotorua.

SH33 remained open, with diversions through a rest area near the scene for about 3-1/2 hours.

A crane and heavy recovery vehicle were used to clear the scene, police said.

Enquiries into the cause of the crash were continuing. Alcohol was not thought to have been involved.