Lake Tikitapu (Blue Lake) Tours and Activities
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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.
Address: Tarawera Road, Lake Tikiapu Scenic Reserve, Rotorua, New Zealand
3 Tours and Activities to Experience Lake Tikitapu (Blue Lake)
Discover Rotorua on a 1.5-hour duck tour. This sightseeing adventure takes you aboard a World War II amphibious vehicle — able to travel on land and water. Start with a city tour past Government Gardens, the Blue Baths and more before splashing down into Lake Tikitapu (Blue Lake) and Lake Okareka. Enjoy family fun along the way with a provided duck caller, and listen to live commentary about Rotorua’s history and local landmarks.
Explore the Rotorua lakes district and learn about its history on a 2-hour tour duck boat cruise from Rotorua. Travel on land and by water in the amphibious World War II vehicle, visiting four lakes including Lake Tarawera, located at the foot of Mt Tarawera. Hear about the devastating 1886 eruption of Mt Tarawera and other aspects of local history on this family-friendly tour.
Taking safety measures
Face masks required for travelers in public areas
Face masks provided for travelers
Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
Rotorua’s volcanic history has created a landscape of lakes. See some of the most spectacular ones on this half day tour, traveling in a small group with a knowledgeable guide. Exercise your legs with a bushwalk, watch springs bubble, and learn about the natural processes which have shaped this land of fire and water.
Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
What's the best way to experience Lake Tikitapu (Blue Lake)?
The best ways to experience Lake Tikitapu (Blue Lake) are:
- Rotorua Duck Boat Guided City and Lakes Tour
- Tarawera and Rotorua Lakes Eco Tour by Boat with Guide
- Mornin Lakes Tour
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