Blue Lake Track

Blue Lake Track


29 Rankers Reviews

28 Face-to-Face

Your Nature Guide

Marios Gavalas's avatar

Marios Gavalas

Author And Researcher

Nau mai, haere mai

Nau mai, haere mai

I'm Marios, delivering the best of Aotearoa's nature walks to your device.

I've personally walked hundreds of New Zealand's tracks and spent months in libraries uncovering interesting information on New Zealand/Aotearoa. And you'll find a slice of that research on this page - enjoy!


Deep Nature

FREE MAP - The best of 21 nature guidebooks on one map.

Online Maps

FREE Header

Deep Nature NEW

Author Marios Gavalas, Rankers and hundreds of contributors bring you a free web map to help you get lost (and find yourself) in Aotearoa's nature.

FREE Header

Camping NZ NEW

Welcome to New Zealand's most comprehensive database of freely available camping information. This is the only travel map of its kind in NZ.


The Blue lake through the trees
Aerial view of the Blue Lake
Amazing trees around the Blue Lake


5.5 km return | 1 hour 30 minutes return

The shaded walk passes through fern-dominated native forest and exotic plantations of the Whakarewarewa Forest. All the while, the serene blue waters of Lake Tikitapu, which are suitable for swimming, lap the fine pumice beaches.

A great walk or run through the native bush surrounding the Lake. Just the right spot for a swim afterwards. This is suitable for all ages - a bit of family fun!


From Rotorua, follow Te Ngae Road (SH30A) and turn right at Ngapuna into Tarawera Road.

Blue Lake is 7 km further on.

The track starts from the north-west corner of the lake at the western end of the beach.

There are large parking areas with toilets behind the beach at the northern end of the lake.


The track is generally wide with a few undulations, uneven and muddy sections. It is unmarked, but follows the perimeter of the lake.

Following the track in an anti-clockwise direction:

After 40 minutes of skirting the western side, there is a 5-minute-return detour to a beach on the southern side of the lake.

10 minutes further is a crossroads. Veer left for 20 minutes to another parking area, where steps descend to another beach. Follow the lake edge track for 30 minutes to the road, where the track ends.

Take extreme care on the final 10 minutes along the roadside footpath back to the carpark.

Polynesian History

One story of Lake Tikitapu’s naming relates to a daughter of a high-born chief, who was bathing in the waters and wore a Tikitapu – a sacred heirloom ornament worn around the neck. It was usually attached with flax chord, but as she swam, it became removed and is still lost.


Feature Value Info


DOC Bay of Plenty

Central government organisation


North IslandRotorua RegionRotorua


  • Walking
  • Free


Showing 13 reviews of 26.

Liane Bausch's avatar

Liane Bausch


Ranking: 7/10

Many different ways to go.

Reviewed over 4 years ago

Heyuuiutha Lokithas's avatar

Heyuuiutha Lokithas


Ranking: 7/10

A very nice area. We made a walk around the lake and saw a lot of birds. After we drove to the lookout to see the green lake. It was not very green, a bad light.

Reviewed about 5 years ago and experienced in December 2016

Lukas Havlicek's avatar

Lukas Havlicek

Czech Republic

Ranking: 9/10

Nice track with the cleanest water in the world.

Reviewed about 6 years ago and experienced in February 2016

Katharina Balzer's avatar

Katharina Balzer


Ranking: 10/10

Very cold but very beautiful!

Reviewed over 6 years ago

Avoid Camping Fines!

Each camping location is approved by a regional council in NZ. So if it shows on the map, you’re allowed to stay.

The Rankers Camping NZ app, is also in association with…

Marc's avatar



Ranking: 5/10

Normally I like water and lakes but I was slightly disappointed in the Blue Lake. It would have been enough just to drive to the Lake and look and learn.

Reviewed over 6 years ago

Felix Holm's avatar

Felix Holm


Ranking: 7/10

Nice 1.5-2 hour walk around the so called Blue Lake. Takes you through beautiful forest and along wild small beaches.

Reviewed about 7 years ago and experienced in December 2014

Rita Hochstiasser's avatar

Rita Hochstiasser


Ranking: 10/10

Beautiful walk around the lake.

Reviewed over 7 years ago and experienced in February 2014

Jean Curry's avatar

Jean Curry


Ranking: 10/10

Very nice walk much needed after a lot of sitting. Not too strenuous but just enough.

Reviewed over 7 years ago and experienced in March 2014

Camping NZ App Icon

Camping NZ App

Every camping site on your iPhone™, iPad™ or Android™ phone or tablet. Avoid camping penalties using this council approved app. Featuring offline maps.

Download from the App Store Download Android app on Google Play

Jenny Finch's avatar

Jenny Finch

United Kingdom

Ranking: 8/10

Short walk but lovely views of the green and blue lakes.

Reviewed over 7 years ago and experienced in March 2014

Katja Kraffzik's avatar

Katja Kraffzik


Ranking: 10/10

Beautiful to walk around and have a swim in Blue Lake.

Reviewed about 8 years ago

Kathy Arthurs's avatar

Kathy Arthurs

New Zealand

Ranking: 8/10

One and a half hours round the lake, easy track - could be better sign posted. Beautiful bush, close to Rotorua.

Reviewed about 9 years ago and experienced in March 2013

Gale Willcocks's avatar

Gale Willcocks

New Zealand

Ranking: 9/10

10km out of Rotorua towards Lake Tarawera. Easy 45-60 minute walk. Very picturesque, crystal clear lake for swimming.

Reviewed about 9 years ago

Ramon Keller's avatar

Ramon Keller


Ranking: 7/10

Easy walk around the lake, 1.5 - 2 hours walk. Trek goes through scenic jungle.

Reviewed over 9 years ago and experienced in December 2012

DOC Managed

Thanks to all the good people working for the NZ Department of Conservation - for all your hard work - making NZ more beautiful, accessable and healthy! Cheers 😍

Cymen Crick's avatar

Cymen Crick

Rankers Owner