The Western Ōkataina Walkway can be walked or biked in its entirety in either direction from:
- Te Ruato Bay, Lake Rotoiti, or
- from Millar Road on Lake Ōkāreka.
It can also be joined from the Outdoor Education Centre on Lake Ōkataina Road.
Description from Te Ruato Bay
After leaving the car park at Lake Rotoiti, you’ll climb steeply for 15 minutes to the top of a ridge, where there are good views of Lake Rotoiti. The track then continues along an old disused forestry road, descending into Patotara Crater (The Bull Ring). Once out of the crater you emerge on to Lake Ōkataina Road or branch right along the Rongomai Track to continue to the Outdoor Education Centre.
From the Outdoor Education Centre, continue through the whakaruruhau/shelter. In a further 10 minutes’ walk, a junction gives you a choice of:
- Waipungapunga Track on the left leading down to Lake Okataina Road and Lake Ōkataina, or
- continuing along the Western Ōkataina Walkway on the right. This track is steep in places, and the surface may be rough and uneven.
2 hours from the Education Centre an optional track to Whakapoungakau Trig (40 minutes return) is well worth the effort. The summit affords amazing views out over Lake Ōkataina, Rotorua, Rotoiti and all the way to the coast on a sunny day.
The Western Okataina Walkway continues from the junction of Whakapoungakau Trig track to Millar Road.
- Te Ruato Bay to Outdoor Centre – 2 hr
- Outdoor Centre to Whakapoungakau Junction – 2 hr
- Whakapoungakau Trig Track – 40 min return
- Whakapoungakau Junction to Millar Road – 3 hr
Start from Millar Road and enjoy an exhilarating downhill from the Whakapounakau Trig all the way into the Outdoor Education Centre.
The track can be started on SH 30 at Te Ruato Bay, Lake Rotoiti (21 km from Rotorua) or from Millar Road on Lake Ōkāreka (11 km from Rotorua).
This is a shared-use track. Follow the mountain bikers code: respect others, respect the rules, respect the track.