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Lake Rotorua

Link to inflows

Link to outflow

On this page:

Meteorological data
Catchment information
Available data
Data Table

General Information

Lake Rotorua is a relatively shallow lake that was formed approximately 140 000 years ago. Hot springs provide direct geothermal inputs along the southern shore (EBOP, 2000). The Ohau channel is the only outflow from the lake, which links Lake Rotorua with Lake Rotoiti. There are nine major inflow streams and eighteen minor inflow streams.

The Lake Rotorua catchment is the most densely populated of all the Rotorua Lakes, with 8.1% of the catchment urban (EBOP, 2000).

Water Quality Poor but stable
Max Depth 26 m
Catchment % pasture 51.8%
Catchment % urban 8.1%
Issues concerning the lake include the impact of both urban and rural development on water quality. Stormwater, septic tank and sewage treatment plant discharges as well as surface water run-off and groundwater seepage from pastoral land use may impact the water quality of Lake Rotorua (EBOP, 2000).

Meteorological data

January 1980 - December 1991
October 1991 - February 2003
March 2003 onwards

Radiation 1980 - 1991 &
Rainfall 1986 - 1991

Catchment Information

Land cover
Land use
Comparison of Lake Rotorua and Lake Rotoiti catchments

Available data:

The following data set is sorted by station:

SiteYearData description
Site BCT181967 - 1993profiles, water quality
Site 21982 - 2002profiles, water quality, lake heights
Site 51982 - 2002
1996 - 2002
profiles, secchi depth
water quality
Site 71982 - 1995profiles, secchi depth
Site 81984 - 1986profiles, secchi depth
Site 101984 - 1986, 1991profiles, secchi depth
Site 201990 - 1996water quality
data - DYRESM format

The following data set is sorted with respect to time, containing some
information within the data set above as well as additional data:

SiteYearData description
BCT181967 - 1993water quality
21990 - 2002water quality
51996 - 2002water quality
201990 - 1996water quality
N1 - N301975 - 1977water quality
A1 - A71989 - 1994water quality
Ohau Channel1987 - 2002water quality

The following data set is also sorted with respect to time:

SiteYearData description
1 - 301975 - 1977water quality
DR11978, 1993, 1994profiles
KR11984 - 1986profiles
41989 - 1994profiles
A4i1989 - 1992water quality
RORN, RORS, RORE1992 - 1996profiles
1 - 71992, 1994profiles
A1 - A71992 - 1994water quality

Rotorua Airport Meteorological Data


Lake levels 1934 - 2003

Nutrient budget for Lakes Rotoiti and Rotorua

Data Table (Combined sites)

Year 34-666768 697071727374 757677787980 818283848586 878889909192 939495969798 990001020304
Water Quality











Secchi depth  

Chlorophyll a           




Physical properties
Temperature and DO profiles  

Lake heights