The track runs from Korokitewao Bay (Lake Rotoiti) to Te Pohue Bay (Lake Rotoehu), through a forest of rimu, tawa, pukatea and rewarewa. It leads to SH30 at the sacred matai, then a small loop track takes you back to the previous track or on to Lake Rotoehu (15 minutes from the sacred matai).
Korokitewao Bay provides a sandy beach, picnic tables, a children’s playground, toilets and crystal clear water.
In addition there are tranquil picnic spots around Lake Rotoiti. Whangaikorea (Honeymoon Bay) is a favourite spot, with toilets and a jetty. Two sites on Te Matarae i o Rehu provide secluded spots.
Hinehopu's/Hongi's Track is 20 km north east of Rotorua off SH 30. It can be accessed by vehicle from either end, at Lake Rotoiti and Lake Rotoehu.
Whangaikorea (Honeymoon Bay) and Te Matarae i o Rehu can only be accessed by boat.
History and culture
The significance of this area lies in its important historic and scenic values.
The track which runs through the area has two names: Hinehopu’s Track and Hongi’s Track.
Originally it was named after the Maori chieftainess, Hinehopu, who lived in the area around 1620. Hinehopu kept two homes, one at Rotoiti and the other at Rotoehu and often travelled between the two lakes. The track and area between the two lakes was named after her.
The name Hongi was given to the area when the famous Ngapuhi warrior, Hongi, transferred his canoes from Lake Rotoehu to Lake Rotoiti in 1823 in order to perform a surprise raid on the Arawa people on Mokoia Island, Lake Rotorua.
Know before you go
You need to be well prepared when tramping on conservation land, especially on longer day walks. Ensure you have strong, comfortable boots, warm clothing, a good raincoat, first aid kit, food and drink, a hat and sunscreen. It is also advisable to leave your tramping intensions with a responsible person.