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Lake Rotokawau (Bay of Plenty) facts for kids

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Lake Rotokawau
Lake Rotokawau.jpg
Aerial view of Lake Rotokawau in 2018
Location Bay of Plenty, North Island
Type maar lake
Primary inflows Waimata Stream
Primary outflows Waiohewa Stream
Catchment area 2.23 km2 (0.86 sq mi)
Basin countries New Zealand
Surface area 0.52 km2 (0.20 sq mi)
Average depth 43.7 m (143 ft)
Max. depth 74 m (243 ft)
Surface elevation 320 m (1,050 ft)

Lake Rotokawau is a small volcanic lake 4.1 km (2.5 mi) east of Lake Rotorua in the Bay of Plenty region of New Zealand's North Island. The name is also used for lakes in the Kaipara District (Poutu Peninsula), Chatham Islands, on Aupouri Peninsula and near Lake Waikare in Waikato. Access is via Lake Rotokawau Road, from SH30 at Tikitere (Hell's Gate). The lake is owned and managed by Ngāti Rangiteaorere.

Lake Rotokawau is a small, oligotrophic lake; the best example of what many deep Rotorua lakes were once like. Koaro (Galaxias brevipinnis), banded kokopu (Galaxias fasciatus), long-finned eel (Anguilla dieffenbachia), short-finned eel (Anguilla australis), smelt (Retropinna retropinna) and common bully (Gobiomorphus cotidianus) live in the lake.

The lake is a maar lake, formed by an explosion about 4,000 years ago, leaving cliffs of up to 90 m (300 ft) around the lake. The local rocks are rhyolite and pumice, with areas of alluvial sand and silt. The catchment is roughly 65% forested and 25% in agriculture. The lake has one major inflow, the Waimata Stream, on the south side and also small geothermal springs on the north-west shore. The lake discharges via groundwater to the Waiohewa Stream, near Tikitere.

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