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*Lake Rotorua

Rotorua is a popular place with tourists as there are many spectacular thermal areas and hot pools. There are several smaller lakes in the area - Rotoiti, Rotoma, Okataina and Tarawera, which are beautiful and provide some great walks, but are better for water skiing and trout fishing than for windsurfing As the surrounding hills disturb the wind. Rotorua is a tourist location and not especially windy by NZ standards, which means it's still pretty good. Local windsurfing personality is Ken Kingsbury who provides windsurfing instruction, designs and builds simulators and generally promotes the sport. There is also a local club, and if the wind is off then plenty of other outdoor pursuits are on.

Dial-a-forecast: 0900 999 18
Info Centre: 67 Fenton St. Rotorua. Ph 07 348 5179.
Local Shop:

  • Central Watersports. 4 Tete St. Ph 07 348 8219.
  • Rotorua Windsurfers. 12 Willow Ave, Hannah's Bay. Ph 07 345 5327


SlalomRace boardLearnerRigging
Is from Memorial Drive. Grass and tarseal rigging and parking areas. Toilets.
Suits: Slalom, longboard. Beginners......
Wind: N,NE,E are best.
Water: Flat - short chop. Shallow.
Watch: Floatplanes and other lakefront users. Weeds - a raked back fin is essential at the lake. Fresh water mussels and swans. Hypothermia - survival time in winter water is 10 minutes.There are numerous underwater obstacles to take out fins etc.


SlalomRace boardLearnerRiggingCampingHIRE
1 km south of the airport, follow signs to the windsurfing school. Motorcamp, toilets, BBQ area, concrete ramp...
Suits: Slalom, longboard. Beginners.......
Wind: SW - NE are onshore.
Water: Flat, small chop. Shallow out to 50 metres.
Watch: Weeds.
Hire School: Available at Rotorua Windsurfers.
In Detail: Best for long board sailing, or short board if the wind is from the North and strong, but sailable round to SW. About 10k from the city towards Whakatane turn down Lee Road (0.5 km south of airport), head north at lake edge to reserve. This is where the local club meets, has excellent rigging and a sloping beach providing deep water about 10m out.


Chop jumpingSlalomRace boardLearnerRigging
15 km from town along the Whakatane-Rotoiti road. Turn left at the Ohau Lodge sign.
Suits: Slalom. Beginners.....
Wind: S,SW,W,NW,N. Accelerates up to 5 knots stronger than other areas on the lake.
Water: Flat - short chop. Shallow out to 250 metres.
Watch: A few rocks - ask the locals. A few fins have been nuked. Shoes are essential.
In Detail: Same road out of the city, keep going until past the main river bridge, left on the Ngongotaha road, just after the Ohau Channel Holiday Park. Best place for short boards when the wind in in the SW, channeling gives the wind an extra boost here. Grass rigging, parking and easy launching with shallow water allows walking back if the wind dies.



Access: Take the Ngongotaha Road , go around lake about 6km to reserve opposite golf course. On the western side, this is the place to go in an Easterly, watch for tree stumps in the water though!

5 LAKE TARAWERA (Stony Point Reserve)

Access: Take the Whakatane road 2km until you reach Lake Tarawera, keep going till you see the reserve sign. Clear and deep, this lake is sailable in S to NE winds but has more rocks than sand. Don't be tempted to try nearby Blue Lake, the hills spoil the wind.

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