History of Lake Okataina

Lake Okataina is steeped in history, from fairy people living shoreside to laughter heard for centuries. Legends tell of the Patupaiarehe, the fairy people who dwelt around the shores of Lake Okataina in ancient times. The fairy people were succeeded by the Mauriwi a people with a highly developed culture.

The lake and its vicinity were once the site of fighting pa. The chief of one of these famous pa’s was Te Rangitakaroro, who was responsible for naming this lake.

Okataina – A place of laughter

As legend goes, Te Rangitakaroro was said to be sitting on a rock when a joke was told. This joke surely left an impression – the rock was thereafter names ‘the place of laughter’.

This name was transferred to the lake which was known as Te Moana I kataina-a-Rangitakaroro, or the sea where Te Rangi-takaroro laughed. The joke has long been forgotten, yet the laughter remains enshrined in the name Okatania, the lake of laughter.

Okataina's Protected Beauty

Okataina is fiercely protected for its unparalleled beauty. In 1931 the Ngati Tarawhai tribe gifted the lake and its surrounding lands to the Crown to preserve it as a scenic reserve. That’s why the beauty of the Okataina scenic reserve can be found largely in its natural state.

Our guests enjoy wandering through the rimu, totara, tawa, rata, kahikatea, rewarewa, inland pohutakawa and konini. The forest is also budding with vines, ferns and mosses. 

The area is also abundant in native and exotic bird life with pigeon, duck, swan and many of the common smaller species inhabiting the area. Sightings of our national icon, the kiwi, have been reported at various spots around the lake. Wild pigs, deer, wallabies, possums and glow worms can also be seen.

Lake Okataina is widely regarded as a premiere fishing spot. This is due largely to the abundance of rainbow trout that can be found here. Click here to read more about fishing on Lake Okataina during your stay at our Rotorua lodge accommodation
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Contact Lakes Lodge Okataina
Physical Address:
Lakes Lodge Okataina
692 Lake Okataina Road
NOTE:No delivery to this address
Postal Address:
Lakes Lodge Okataina
PO Box 6007
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