Roto Kohatu

Roto Kohatu Reserve located in the north of the city is made up of two freshwater lakes Tahi and Rua. The reserve is a popular place for a range of outdoor activities including walking, swimming and kayaking.

Roto Kohatu 10

COVID-19 update on parks and tracks

The Government is asking for everyone to stay at home. Their advice is that you can go for a walk or exercise outdoors for a short time, and to stick to simple walks or exercise spots close to home. 

When you are out, you must stay two metres away from anyone who is not in your household.

Parks and cemeteries are open for pedestrian access only, and where possible we have closed off park car parks.  Please do not use any play equipment or exercise equipment.

The following are closed:

  • Public toilets
  • Playgrounds, play equipment or exercise equipment in parks
  • The Botanic Gardens
  • Car parks within parks are closed for vehicle access
  • Visitor and information centres, i.e. Bottle Lake Forest and Travis Wetland
  • The Spencer Park animal area
  • Fenced dog parks, including Horseshoe Lake, The Groynes and Styx Mill Reserve. All other parks are available to exercise dogs in
  • All Council-owned sports facilities e.g clubrooms

Site map

RK map swim zones

Lake Tahi

The first lake, closest to the entrance, is leased by Canterbury Jet Sports Club(external link) and is reserved for club members only. All watercraft using this lake must be registered with the club.

The Canterbury Jet Sports Club(external link) website has membership options as well as a comprehensive list of rules, regulations and prohibitions regarding use of watercraft in the reserve.


Vehicles with watercraft must use the access gate at the northern end of Sawyers Arms Road.

Lake Rua

Lake Rua, the second lake, is managed by Christchurch City Council Park Rangers and is a public lake popular for swimming, dragon boating and sailing. 


Access to Roto Kohatu is off Sawyers Arms Road. 

Gate times

  • During daylight savings 7am to 9pm
  • Rest of year 7am to 7pm
  • Ring Armourguard 0800 007 009 to release locked in vehicles at owner’s expense


Swimming is permitted in marked areas only.

Do not dive, or use powered watercraft. There are many underwater hazards from when the site was a landfill such as tree stumps, cars and concrete.

Water quality is monitored over summer months. Find out more from Land Air Water Aotearoa(external link).


Dogs are prohibited from swimming in the lakes.

Dogs must be leashed on all footpaths and roads, and also around the the lakes. Dogs may be kept under effective control on the grassed banks before the lakes.

Find more great spots for you and your dog to explore.


Take an easy stroll around the Lake Circuit Walk, a 2km walk past Lake Tahi and around Lake Rua.

For something more challenging, walk the Otukaikino Track, a 9km walk from Roto Kohatu, through Clearwater Resort and the The Groynes and out to Darroch Street Reserve in Belfast.