The Rotorua lakes are the central feature of the Eastern Bay region which offers diverse angler experiences, high catch rates and big fish. There is something for everyone in this fisher’s paradise!
You'll find a few fully licensed guides and vessels below who will take you to their favourite spots, or you can go it alone (but then who will be your witness of the one that got away?).
A family favourite, children 6-14 years old can learn to fly fish and catch a rainbow trout! Held at Ngongotaha Trout Hatchery on specified days between July and November. Bookings must be made in advance.
Many lakes and rivers in our region can be fished year round; for others, the season is usually 1 October to 30 June, however some vary. Please refer to the North Island Sports Fishing Regulations for the appropriate year published annually by Fish & Game New Zealand.
Sports fishing throughout New Zealand requires a fishing license whether you are a New Zealand resident or a visitor from overseas.
Shoreline fly fishing and spin fishing can result in very good catch rates while boat fishing over the summer months provides action and fun for the whole family. Most of the Rotorua lakes lack suitable spawning rivers to sustain trout populations so supplementary stocking maintains high numbers for anglers.
Lake Rotorua is not stocked but has one of the highest catch rates in the district while Lake Ōkāreka also keeps anglers happy with high numbers of good quality fish.
Lakes Tarawera, Okataina and Rotoiti can produce trophy fish.
Lakes Rotoma and Rotoehu provide experiences for those wanting to get away from the crowds, and at Rotoma, the opportunity to chase tiger trout.
Lakes Rotomahana and Tikitapu also have their own special charm and local devotees, while Lake Rerewhakaaitu attracts shore-based anglers targeting deep bodied fish.
Lake Ohakuri, southwest of Rotorua, is a deep man-made lake holding a high population of rainbow and brown trout that can be caught by a variety of methods. It’s a popular lake but its size and shape means that there is plenty of space for the angler who wishes to get away from it all.
Smaller lakes with secluded bays and rising trout are there for the more adventurous anglers who want to “get off the beaten track”.
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Cruise and Fish Rotorua
Some of the best fishing the Central North Island offers is accessed from Rotorua.
When Lake Atiamuri is first seen, the water appears to be almost black although it is in fact clean and has good visibility.
Lake Ohakuri, southwest of Rotorua, is the largest artificial lake of the Waikato River system.
One of the smaller lakes in the Rotorua region, Lake Ōkāreka remains off the beaten path, tucked away off the main road accessing lakes Tikitapu and Tarawera.
The name Okataina means "The lake of laughter", a shortened form of the original name Te Moana-i-kataina-a-Te Rangitakaroro.
Camping, picnicking, swimming and boating are all popular recreational activities at Lake Rerewhakaaitu Recreational Reserve.
Lake Rotoiti is one of the three largest lakes in the Rotorua region. Surrounded by lush native bush, it also features glow worm caves and a secluded hot pool complex.
Lake Rotoma means "lake of exceptionally clear water". The lake currently has the best water quality of all the Rotorua lakes.
Sitting at the base of Mount Tarawera, Lake Rotomahana is steeped in history and surrounded by geothermal features like geysers, fumeroles and colourful steaming cliffs.
The largest of our region’s lakes, Rotorua is a volcanic caldera, formed from the crater of a large volcano.
One of the largest lakes in New Zealand, the picturesque Lake Tarawera (meaning ‘burnt spear’), is a firm favourite with boaties, and famous for the size and condition of its rainbow trout.