History and Legends

Rotomahana means "warm lake". Prior to the Tarawera eruption, this lake comprised two smaller lakes - Lake Rotomahana (warm) and Lake Makariri (cold).

Lake Rotomahana was the site of the geothermal "Pink and White Terraces", once considered the eighth wonder of the natural world. The terraces were destroyed in the 1886 Tarawera eruption, which also substantially altered the lake. Today, it is the deepest of the Rotorua lakes.



Arguably the least fished of the Rotorua lakes. Lake Rotomahana is gazetted a wildlife refuge and no power boats are permitted during the duck shooting season. It is said to hold the purest strain of rainbow trout in the world.

There are no boat ramps on this lake but dinghies can be launched off the Waimangu Loop Road through forestry land. Permits for access through Department of Conservation land are obtainable from the DOC Office in town.

The trout are around 2kg to 3kg and are magnificent fat deep fish whose fighting qualities are second to none. Fishing from an anchored boat from April through to July is best around any of the small streams along the southern shoreline. All the usual fishing methods are permitted.