Lake Rotorua

General information

Lake Rotorua is a relatively shallow lake that was formed approximately 220,000 years ago. Hot springs provide direct geothermal inputs along the southern shore (EBOP, 2000). The Ohau channel is the only outflow from the lake, which links Lake Rotorua with Lake Rotoiti. There are nine major inflow streams and eighteen minor inflow streams.

The Lake Rotorua catchment is the most densely populated of all the Rotorua Lakes, with 8.1% of the catchment urban (EBOP, 2000).

Issues concerning the lake include the impact of both urban and rural development on water quality. Stormwater, septic tank and sewage treatment plant discharges as well as surface water run-off and groundwater seepage from pastoral land use may impact the water quality of Lake Rotorua (EBOP, 2000).


Lake Rotorua from Sulphur Point looking towards Rotorua city and Mt. Ngongotaha. Photo taken by Wendy Paul.
Water quality:Poor but stable
Max Depth:26m
Catchment % pasture:51.8%
Catchment % urban:8.1%


Available Data

Click here to download past water quality data.

Click here for real time monitoring data

Catchment information

Land cover

Land use

Comparison of Lake Rotorua and Lake Rotoiti catchments

Nutrient budget for Lake Rotoiti and Rotorua (PDF)

Link to Bathymetry