Lake Rotoiti is actually a relatively large lake lying to the east of Rotorua, and is connected to Lake Rotorua by the Ohau Channel. It’s a popular spot for boaties and has the accessible-by-boat only Manupiria Hot Springs on its shores.

History and Legends

Legend has it that while hunting one day Ihenga’s dog Potakatawhiti disappeared for some time and on return, vomited up whitebait. Ihenga realised he was near water but because of the size of the particular bay he arrived into, was deceived into thinking the lake was small. He called it Lake Rotoiti, or Te Roto-whaiti-i-kite-ai-a-Ihenga-i-Ariki-ai-a Kahumatamomoe (the small lake discovered by Ihenga).



Lake Rotoiti is a local fishing spot and access for wading anglers is possible at The Delta and off the Rotorua-Whakatane Highway (SH30) where several small streams enter the lake. Wading is generally safe but great care is necessary at the Delta and at Emerys Reef.

Lake Rotoiti may be fished only from October 1 to June 30, and wire, lead and metal core lines are permitted.

Winter season: Shoreline anglers only (no boats) may fish during the closed season, in the following areas: The shoreline only of Lake Rotoiti from Ruato Bay to Hinehopu (no boats permitted) and the Kaituna River below the flow control structure at Okere.

Trolling is prohibited within 200m of all stream mouths. Anchored boats prohibited within 300m of the Ohau Channel Delta.


Walking Tracks
Hinehopu (Hongi’s) Track

The 2.2km, 1.5 hours one way, track that runs through the area has two namesakes: Hinehopu and Hongi. Originally it was named after the Māori chieftainess Hinehopu, who lived in the area around 1620.

The name Hongi refers to the famous Ngāpuhi warrior, who transferred his canoes from Lake Rotoehu to Lake Rotoiti in 1823 to perform a surprise raid on the Te Arawa people on Mokoia Island, Lake Rotorua. This area is also under the administration of the Rotoiti Scenic Reserve Board and day-to-day management is carried out by DOC.

The track is a pleasant walk through native forest with important historic and cultural value. There is a beautiful beach at Korokitewao Bay (Lake Rotoiti) for swimming and picnicking.

The track runs from Korokitewao Bay (Lake Rotoiti) to Te Pohue Bay (Lake Rotoehu), through a forest of rimu, tawa, pukatea and rewarewa. Along the way you can take a short loop walk to the sacred mataī on SH 30, or carry on to Lake Rotoehu (a further 15 minutes).