This is the largest lake in the area. It was named by Thomas Potts, the first run holder of Hakatere Station and one of New Zealand’s earliest conservationists.
Potts named the lake after the white heron/kōtuku, which were found around the shores. Unfortunately, only an occasional white heron/ kōtuku now visits the area, but the lake is still home to Australasian crested grebes/kāmana, marsh crake/ koitareke and Australasian bittern/matuku. Lake Heron (Ō Tū Roto) is popular for picnics, walks (both long and short) as well as fishing for trout and quinnat salmon (also known as chinook, king or spring salmon).