HomeTaupo – TurangiTaupo Turangi: Where to fishLake Rotoaira

Lake Rotoaira


Lake Rotoaira is a shallow lake that has a large population of hard fighting rainbow trout and is a very productive fishery. Note that an entry permit is required in addition to a Taupo licence.

Fish type Rainbow trout
Situation Although a natural lake, Rotoaira has been extensively modified for hydro electric generation purposes and water is diverted to it to be used at times of peak generation. It lies about 20 minutes drive south of Turangi and requires a separate fishing licence as well as the usual Taupo licence to fish it.

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Because water is diverted into Rotoaira during times of low electricity demand and then diverted to the Tongariro Power Station during times of peak demand, the lake levels fluctuate and there can be different currents at different times at inlets and outlets to the lake. Rotoaira is a shallow lake. The large amount of weed around the margins produce good food for the large population of rainbow trout. This lake was used as a venue for the 28th World Fly Fishing Championships.

Fish numbers and size A reasonable population of rainbow trout in the 1-1.5 kg (2-4lb) range
Access The lake is reached by taking SH46 which turns of SH1 at Rangipo, or by taking SH47 which leads of SH41 at the Tokaanu Junction. There are boat ramps at the northern end of the lake just off SH47 and at the south west corner of SH46. See the Lake Rotoaira access map.
A 6 to 7 weight rod
A weight-forward or double taper floating line
6 metre leader of 2.5 kg monfilament
A spinning rod with 6lb line
Either a bubble float and suspended fly or dark bladed spinners.
Recommended lures

Nymphs: Hare and Copper, Halfback, Pheasant Tail and green caddis patterns patterns in sizes 12 to 16

Dry flies: Daddy Long Legs and Coch-y-Bondu. Cicada patterns and Green Beetle in summer.

Wet flies/streamers:

  • Night time: Black Phantom, Craig's Night Time, Fuzzy Wuzzy, Scotch Poacher
  • Day time: Use flies such as Woolly Bugger, Red Setter, Dollfly, Grey Ghost, Taupo Tigers, Rabbit patterns and Hamill's Killer

Tributaries include:
- the Poutu Aqueduct
- the Wairehu Canal

Regulations (1)
Applicable to Lake Rotoaira
Region Taupo fishery area regulations

In addition to a current Taupo licence, a separate entry permit is required to fish Lake Rotoaira. The permits, issued by the Lake Rotoaira Trust Board, can be bought from:

  • most sports and tackle stores and some service stations in Turangi and the southern part of the region
  • the Turangi i-SiTE Visitor Information Centre
  • the Tokaanu Hotel
  • the office at the Lake Rotoaira Camping Ground on the southern side of the lake on SH46
Season 1 September to 30 June (and 1 Dec to 30 June in Rotoaira Channel)
Methods All legal Taupo methods
Bag limit 6
Size limit (cm) 35 cm minimum
Regulations (2) 
Applicable to All rivers and streams flowing into Lake Rotoaira (including the Poutu Aqueduct) except the Wairehu Canal
Region Taupo fishery area regulations
Season Closed
Methods Not applicable
Bag limit None
Size limit (cm) Not applicable

Other fishing waters of the region