It’s tough to decide which is more beautiful: the cobalt hue of the aptly named Blue Lake sparkling in the midday sun, or the deep green of the Whakarewarewa Forest that hugs the shore of the lake. Either way, the natural beauty is what makes Lake Tikitapu an ideal place to connect with nature.
Thanks to the pumice and rhyolite that lie at the bottom of Tikitapu and are reflected by the sun, the blue color of this small lake makes it very inviting to swimmers. Visitors can also splash into Lake Tikitapu on an amphibious Duck vehicle tour, or opt to soar above the lake and marvel at the aerial views on a helicopter or seaplane flight.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Blue Lake is the best place in Rotorua for swimming and water skiing.
- The site is a favorite of travelers with children.
- There are public toilets, barbecue facilities, picnic areas, and a playground.
- Select a guided day trip to see Lake Rotokakahi (Green Lake) in addition to geysers and mud pools.
How to Get There
Lake Tikitapu (Blue Lake) lies 5.5 miles (9 kilometers) southeast of Rotorua. Of all the lakes around Rotorua, it is the closest to town. Scenic tours with a guide provide access to multiple natural features and often include round-trip hotel transport from Rotorua.
When to Get There
Blue Lake is accessible daily, year-round. A boat ramp on the north end of the lake can make the lake a busy destination on weekends. Despite its small size and shallow depth, the water is relatively cool, and the north-end beach is the place to be on the hottest days of summer.
Hiking Under Redwoods
If you’d prefer to work up a sweat before cooling off with a swim, a 3.5-mile (5.6-kilometer) walking trail encircles the entire lake. Hike beneath the shaded redwood groves of the Whakarewarewa Forest, and leave footprints in the sand before jumping in for a swim. From parts of the trail, you can enjoy clear views of neighboring Green Lake and its protected, sacred waters.