Views of Lake Tarawera
PHOTO: Benjamin Welby | Creative Commons

Introduction

Meander your way through bush from Te Wairoa to Hot Water Beach Campsite. Stay overnight or pre-book a water taxi to The Landing.

Track overview

15 km one way

Walking and tramping

5-6 hr Advanced: Tramping track

Dog access

No dogs

  • Check clean dry
    Stop the spread of didymo and other freshwater pests.

    Remember to Check, Clean, Dry all items before entering, and when moving between, waterways.

About this track

Description

Once devastated by the 1886 Tarawera eruption, the Tarawera Trail represents a return of the people to their land and the birthplace of tourism in New Zealand.

The track begins at Te Wairoa car park, off Tarawera Road, with opening views of beautiful Lake Tarawera. Follow the lake side trail through Katukutuku Bay and, 5 km in to the trail, stop at Hawaiki Bay to enjoy lake access and a picnic area with toilet facilities.

The track continues with intermittent climbs, through lakeside bushland into Te Hinau Bay, passing over Twin Streams cold springs.

After an uphill climb to reach the Rotomahana lookout point, descend into Te Rata Bay to enjoy a soak at Hot Water Beach, but be careful - localised patches of sand are very hot.


Part of Virtually on Track - Discover, Explore, Connect


Getting there

The trail starts at Te Wairoa car park on Tarawera Road, an easy and scenic 15 minute drive from Rotorua past Blue lake (Tikitapu). A water taxi is available to ferry passengers from the end of the track at Hot Water Beach to Tarawera Landing, approx. 5 km from Te Wairoa carpark - make your own arrangements between the landing and the carpark.

If walking the track in reverse, the water taxi can also ferry walkers from Tarawera Landing to Hot Water Beach.

Pre-booking the water taxi in either direction is essential.

Find commercial operators for Lake Tarawera Scenic Reserve

Know before you go

Dogs, horses, vehicles (including bicycles and motorbikes), fires, removal of plants or animals and hunting are not permitted along the trail.

Do not overestimate your capabilities. Consider booking a campsite or a water taxi rather than attempt to walk the trail in both directions in one day if you are not an experienced walker.

Mobile phone coverage is limited. This could mean a delay in contacting emergency services should the need arise. Carry a first aid kit and plenty of drinking water.

Stop the spread of Rotorua pest fish brochure.
Stop the spread of Rotorua pest fish brochure. View larger (PDF, 1,110K)

Stop the spread and keep Rotorua lakes free of pest fish

Stop the spread and keep Rotorua lakes free of pest fish

Report any sightings of koi carp (3-70 cm) or catfish (3-40 cm). Other fish of particular concern are rudd and gambusia.

You can help by photographing any specimens caught and forwarding to your local DOC office and by following Check Clean Dry protocols.

Invasive species are a problem because they reduce water quality and can compete with native species and trout.

For further information, or to report suspicious fish, contact your local DOC office or phone 0800 DOC HOT (0800 362 468).

Contacts

Tourism Rotorua i-SITE Information Centre
Phone:   +64 7 351 7324
Address:   1167 Fenton St
Rotorua
Email:   rotoruavisitor@doc.govt
Full office details
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