The smell of sausages sizzling, the sound of playful splashing and smooth summer tunes filled the air at Rotorua's lakes this weekend.

Families and friends flocked the city's concrete walls for the pristine blue waters and forest air at both Lake Ōkareka and Tikitapu Blue Lake.

The temperature was sitting at a lush 21 degrees with barbecues set up across the lakefront and every kind of inflatable water toy one could imagine floating on the water.

Karl and Nicky Fulton at Tikitapu had their afternoon covered.

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The couple, along with their three kids and some friends had come down with their full pop up tent with a bedroom for midday naps and their barbecue full of sausages.

Karl and Nicky Fulton with their ideal summer set up at Lake Tikitapu. Photo / Andrew Warner.
Karl and Nicky Fulton with their ideal summer set up at Lake Tikitapu. Photo / Andrew Warner.

Nicky said Karl had surprised her and the kids, who lived in Pāpāmoa and just told them last night to be ready for a fun day in the morning.

They loaded up the trailer first thing and headed down with water toys and food for a full day at the lake.

She said they had chosen the lake as it was "more relaxed" than the beach and less busy.

"It's a good way to get the kids out of the house into the sun and not on their devices."

But the Fultons were not alone in bringing their children for some holiday fun.

Just over the hill, Kennedy Linwood brought her four children down for a day at Lake Ōkareka.

When the Rotorua Daily Post went to talk to them, her two youngest Iharaiara, 2 and Pipiana, 4 were wallowing in the cool waters and confirmed it was warm.

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Kennedy said they had packed a picnic and she and her husband were taking shifts in sunbathing and watching the children in the water.

David, Owen, 1 and Emma Baddeley celebrating the little guy's first birthday in style. Photo / Andrew Warner
David, Owen, 1 and Emma Baddeley celebrating the little guy's first birthday in style. Photo / Andrew Warner

Plenty of people were out on jetskis, water biscuits and boats. However, one specific boat caught everybody's' eye.

David and Emma Baddeley had brought down their inflatable, fluorescent yellow boat and were paddling it with their one-year-old son Owen.

The family was celebrating the boy's first birthday and his first time on the water. However, he looked like a natural boatie in his bucket hat and lifejacket.

Business at the Lake Ōkareka campsite was booming as locals and tourists alike packed out the small lakefront sites.

Laura Hockey (right) and Peter Matsis enjoying lunch with a lake view. Photo / Andrew Warner
Laura Hockey (right) and Peter Matsis enjoying lunch with a lake view. Photo / Andrew Warner

Sydney's Laura Hockey and Wellington's Peter Matsis had their tent pitched up in front of the lake after Google Maps "accidentally" led them to the site.

Hockey said the pair were doing a camping trip of the North Island with their tent and gas cooker.

So far, they were loving it but it was only day four of 31, she said.

They had been swimming and were tucking into their lunch when the Rotorua Daily Post stopped by.

"We are loving Rotorua, it is really cool."