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Discover threatened bird populations living in a harsh geothermal landscape.

The south-eastern corner of Lake Rotorua is known as Sulphur Bay and is made up of a Wildlife Refuge and a Wildlife Sanctuary.

The bay stretches from Motutara Point arross to Ngapuna. The Purenga stream flows into the Bay which has plenty of geothermal features including boiling mudpools, naturally hot water and steam.

Find things to do and places to stay Sulphur Bay Wildlife Refuge

The Sulphur Bay Wildlife Refuge is home to an array of bird species including the nationally threatened New Zealand dabchick, banded dotterel and black-billed gull.

The gulls of Sulphur Bay are quite unique in that they are not usually found in geothermal environments. The Nature Heritage Trail provides a great opportunity to view some of these birds.

A great way to explore Sulphur Bay is to get out on the water.

Mechanically powered boats are not permitted in the Sulphur Bay Wildlife Refuge but are allowed in other parts of Lake Rotorua. There is a car park and boat ramp an Mototara point.

Check, Clean, Dry

Clean all gear when moving between waterways to prevent the spread of didymo and other freshwater pests.

How to check, clean, dry your gear.


Rotorua Office
Phone:   07 349 7400
Fax:   +64 4 471 1117
Email:   rotorua@doc.govt.nz
Address:   99 Sala Street
Rotorua 3010
Postal Address:   PO Box 1146
Rotorua 3040
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