Lake tarawera – the rotorua district’s hidden gem
Most people will think of the lost Pink and White Terraces when they hear the name Lake Tarawera. It was believed that the terraces were completely destroyed in the massive eruption of Mount Tarawera in 1886. However, two years ago, a team of scientists rediscovered them when mapping the lake floor. This was a hugely exciting find and has reignited interest in the area.
If history is your thing, of course a visit to the Buried Village (from the same eruption) should be on your list as well as taking the chance to gaze out to the stunning lake where the Pink and White Terraces awed locals and tourists 150 years ago.
What strikes me the most each time I visit Lake Tarawera, is the unbelievable beauty of the place. Rotorua is a hub for adventure-junkies and while Lake Tarawera can be water-skied and hiked also, it has a certain serenity that makes it equally enjoyable to just be one with nature. Many of the accommodation options have lakeside views.
Driving there from Rotorua, you will pass all these beautiful bays, so stop and have a swim if it is summer and get some photos if it is too cool for a dip.
Once you have indulged in the adrenaline-filled activities in Rotorua I have described in this story, how about taking a couple of days to visit Lake Tarawera which in my view far surpasses Rotorua in terms of its beauty?
Indulge in some trout fishing and water sports in season and unwind on one of its hot water beaches.
There are great restaurants right on the water’s edge, boats to cruise the lake on and also the chance to land on Mount Tarawera (by helicopter or boat) and hike up to its crater, although this has to be organised in advance with one of the authorised tour operators and cannot be done independently.