Hamilton Lake Domain has a long history as one of Hamilton’s premiere parks. It is a significant recreational facility for residents of Hamilton City and beyond within walking distance from the CBD. Hamilton Lake Domain provides a focal point for a variety of water and land based activities as well as offering a unique ecological environment in the heart of Hamilton City.
Lake Rotoroa caters for water based recreational activities such as yachting, wind surfing, canoeing, paddle boats, model boats, dragon boating, waka ama, raft racing and a range of informal activities like feeding ducks or fishing.
Innes Common to the East and West of Lake Domain Drive caters for active recreation and sports, including hockey and cricket. Innes Common is home to the Gallagher Hockey Centre. It also attracts organised events including fairs, kite days, family days, The Waikato Balloon Festival, fun runs, concerts, school holiday programmes, orienteering and similar activities.
The remaining park area caters for passive or casual recreation and is available for events like Carols by Candlelight. The esplanade walkway around the lake is a popular fitness circuit and walking route. Playgrounds beside the Verandah Cafe provide kids a place to play while their minders enjoy a coffee with a view of the lake.
Lake Rotoroa algae
Over the last few years, potentially toxic algae have become established in the water of Lake Rotoroa, in Hamilton Lake Domain.
It is a natural phenomenon which can occur in any lake with sufficient nutrients to support it.
In certain conditions, the bacterial counts increase, meaning the lake water becomes unsafe.
The algae, also known as cyanobacteria, is buoyant, moving through the water column to take advantage of nutrients and sunlight.
The algae can cluster on the surface forming foamy scums, which can be seen near the shoreline in locations around the lake.
You may have noticed these, and Hamilton City Council strongly advises you not to touch them. The foaming scums have the appearance of pollution and can be vividly coloured at times, causing an unpleasant odour as they decay.
The algae are an issue Council takes seriously, and the algae levels are regularly monitored by science provider NIWA.
When levels are high, Council installs warning signage, and strongly advises residents to keep themselves and their dogs away from the water and the lake shoreline.
You should not swim in the water, drink it or cook with it, or eat fish caught in the lake.
If your dog has been in or near the water when levels are high / warning signs in place, and it shows signs of deteriorating health, you are urged to take the animal to the veterinarian.
There is no “silver bullet” solution to deal with this algae and its related effects, nevertheless Council has made changes to the stormwater system which feeds into the lake reducing the level of sediments and nutrients entering the lake.
Staff will be working with NIWA experts to determine more practical long-term solutions to the problem.
For more information contact Hamilton City Council’s Parks and Garden Unit on 07 838 6622.