Rotopounamu (‘greenstone lake’) nestles on the side of Mt Pihanga. This beautiful lake is a special favorite of tree lovers, birdwatchers, walkers and swimmers. It is a great spot for the family.
Rotopounamu was formed by a landslide about 10,000 years ago. It is nine metres deep and covers one square kilometre.
Beginning opposite the parking area, the track winds gently uphill. At the junction the track to the left goes to Ten Minute Beach which is a pleasant picnic and swimming spot in summer. The walk up to the lake takes about 20 minutes.
To walk around the lake turn right at the junction and follow a short section of metalled track before dropping down towards Five Minute Beach. Here a broad treestump provides a good spot to view the lake.
Long Beach sweeps along the eastern side of the lake and is an ideal spot for a picnic or rest stop. There is a toilet here. From here the track continues to the northern shore where three of Rotopounamu’s four tributary streams enter the lake. The lake has no visible outflow and possibly drains via an underground stream or seepage.
Continuing on, you pass Ten Minute Beach and soon return to the track junction. From here it is downhill to the carpark. Allow two hours for a leisurely walk around the lake.