HomeEastern – RotoruaEastern-Rotorua: Where to fishLake Okareka

Lake Okareka


Lake Okareka is a gentle lake suitable for family fishing. It has a large population of rainbow trout that can be caught by a variety of fishing methods. The lake is possibly one of the most under-fished in the area and is highly recommended for its scenic beauty and the quality of its fishing.

Fish type Rainbow trout

Lake Okareka is a short drive from Rotorua township. It is a small sheltered lake surrounded by hills and highly recommended for family fishing.

Due to its close proximity to Rotorua township there is now a sizable permanent population residing in a small settlement on the western shore.


Access map

Check conditions

View the MetService weather forecast.

See the Environment Bay of Plenty website for:

- A report card on the lake water quality.

- Lake use map and lake closure notices

View the lake level.


Lake Okareka is well-sheltered making it fishable except in the most extreme weather conditions. Most of the lake is surrounded by open land and bush. As there are no feeder streams of note the lake is dependent upon stocking for the maintenance of the trout population. As a consequence, numbers of fish are good and the condition of those caught is often superb.

There are many opportunities for the shoreline angler. At the western end Boyes beach that is a great place to target fish at change of light and at night. Wading is safe  around the western, southern and northern sections with only the northern area suitable for boat fishing.

Fish numbers and size Fish numbers are high and mostly in the 1-1.5 kg range. This lake has predominantly rainbow trout although there are a few brown trout present.
Access A side road leading from the Tarawera road leads to the small township of Okareka on the western shores of the lake. A boat ramp at Acacia Bay allows access to the rest of the lake. See the Lake Okataina/Lake Okareka access map.

While there are good opportunities for shoreline fishing, the best fishing is done by boat. Trolling is the preferred and most popular method of catching fish although fly fishing from a boat can also be very successful.

Those wishing to fish from the shore will find plenty of opportunities at Boyes Beach and at a number of small bays around the western shoreline. Fish can often be spotted as they cruise the shoreline along the weed beds. Good polarising glasses therefore are essential. Fishing from the shore can be most productive either early in the morning
or in the evening when fish often come very close in to the shoreline.

Recommended tackle When trolling it is necessary to get your line and lures down around 3 to 6 metres. If using a leadline, troll with four to six colours in the 3-5 metre leader. In the mornings and late evenings, harling a lure slowly along any weed beds can also be effective. Jigging is also becoming popular. Those wishing to fish using a fly from the shore will need to use a floating or slow sinking line.
Recommended lures

Lightly weighted Hare and Copper, Pheasant Tail, Halfback, Caddis and stonefly patterns fished on a floating line can be effective when fishing close to the shoreline weed beds.

Dry flies:
In November and December Green Beetle patterns can be very successful and in late summer Cicada and Blowfly patterns work well.

Wet flies / Streamers:
Hamill's Killer, Mrs Simpson and any smelt pattern such as Parsons Glory, Grey Ghost or Rabbit pattern in light colours. At night use dark colours with such flies as Black Fuzzy Wuzzy and Woolly Buggers

SpinnersSmall Black and Gold  Toby's, bright coloured Tasmanian Devils and Cobras.

Tributaries There are no tributaries of note though any small stream that flows into the lake, no matter how insignificant it may seem, can produce excellent fishing especially at night with a dark fly.
Regulations (1)
Applicable to Lake Okareka
Region Eastern region regulations
Season All year
Methods Artificial fly, spinner.
Bag limit Trout: 8
Size limit (cm) 350mm minimum
Regulations (2)
Applicable to All springs, streams and their  tributaries which flow into or from Lake Okareka
Region Eastern region regulations
Season Closed
Methods None
Bag limit 0
Size limit (cm) N/A

Other fishing waters of the region


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