Lake Okareka lies around 12km south-east of Rotorua, towards Lake Tarawera. The lake itself, which this small community sits beside, is fairly small at less than 10km in circumference and relatively shallow compared to some of the region’s other lakes. Situated in the picturesque setting of hills, native forest and farmland, the township has a quietness and charm to it and because Lake Okareka is off the main tourist routes, it is less frequented by visitors.
The lake, forest, reserves and walking tracks offer a range of recreational opportunities for both local residents and visitors and is a popular spot for anglers.
The Lake Okareka Walkway, a custom built timber boardwalk, is accessible from Acacia Road and runs alongside the southern edge of the lake, providing the opportunity to walk right beside wetlands and observe a number of aquatic birds at close hand. Parts of the walk run through native trees, a kowhai grove and kanuka making it extremely pretty, with Silver Beach a popular picnic spot. The return walk takes about one hour.
For those with a taste for adventure, Horse Trekking is a great way to get panoramic views of the lake from high in the hills. While Rotorua Duck Tours also run a tour which includes Lake Okareka as one of the venues for its amphibious tour – a great way to learn more about this beautiful region.