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Ngongotaha is located in New Zealand
Coordinates: 38°4′59″S 176°12′00″E / 38.08306°S 176.20000°E / -38.08306; 176.20000
Country New Zealand
RegionBay of Plenty
Territorial authorityRotorua District
 • Total12.91 km2 (4.98 sq mi)
286 m (938 ft)
 (June 2018)[1]
 • Total4,850
 • Density380/km2 (970/sq mi)

Ngongotaha (officially Ngongotahā) is a town on the western shores of Lake Rotorua in New Zealand's North Island. It is 10 kilometers northwest of Rotorua city, and is often regarded as an outer suburb of the larger centre. Its population was 4,107 in the 2013 census.[2]

Its name is derived from a legend of Ihenga, the famous Māori explorer. It is said Ihenga met the Patu-paiarehe on Mount Ngongotaha and was offered a drink from a calabash (ngongo = to drink, tahā = calabash.[3] Ngongotaha is often referred to by locals as the "Sunny side of the Mountain".

History and culture[edit]

Ngongotaha has six marae:

Parawai meeting house

Mount Ngongotaha[edit]

Mount Ngongotaha is 757 metres (2,484 ft) high. It towers above the city; and hosts a Gondola to the top where there is a viewing platform, luge and restaurant.[6]


The village has strong football (Ngongotaha AFC), rugby league (Ngongotaha Sports & Community Association), rugby union, netball and touch teams. There are several marae within the community.

Economy and transportation[edit]

The main road through the village, known as SH 36, runs via Kaharoa and Pyes Pa to Tauranga.

The Rotorua Branch railway runs through Ngongotaha, although this has been unused since the turn of the century. A Railway Park, run by enthusiasts, provides train rides on a scale model steam train and a mini diesel-locomotive on the Western side of Ngongotaha near the former line.[7]

The Ngongotaha Stream, which flows through the village centre and onward into Lake Rotorua is one of the most heavily fished areas in New Zealand. Specimen rainbow trout and brown trout are regularly taken by fly fishermen. Other nearby streams (Awahou, Waiteti and Hamurana) also offer good fishing.

Notable people[edit]

Despite its small size, Ngongotaha has produced a number of famous New Zealanders, including:


  1. ^ "Subnational Population Estimates: At 30 June 2018 (final)". Statistics New Zealand. 15 November 2018. Retrieved 21 November 2018.
  2. ^ The population is the total of Ngongotaha North 2013 Census QuickStats about a place : Ngongotaha North and Ngongotaha South 2013 Census QuickStats about a place : Ngongotaha South
  3. ^ Cowan, James (1925). Fairy Folk Tales of the Maori. New Zealand: Whitcombe and Tombs Limited. p. 37.
  4. ^ "Te Kāhui Māngai directory". Te Puni Kōkiri.
  5. ^ "Māori Maps". Te Potiki National Trust.
  6. ^ "Skyline Rotorua". Skyline Rotorua. 2019.
  7. ^ "Miniature Railway at Ngongotaha". Retrieved 1 December 2015.