Lake Tarawera and volcanic Mount Tarawera
Image: PaulSouthWales | Creative Commons


Plants in the Lake Tarawera Scenic Reserve have regenerated since the 1886 Mount Tarawera eruption which dramatically changed the landscape around the volcano.


The 1886 eruption of Mount Tarawera drastically changed the area around the Lake Tarawera Scenic Reserve.

Place overview


  • Boating
  • Camping
  • Scenic and nature tours
  • Walking and tramping
  • 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.

In this section

Find things to do and places to stay Lake Tarawera Scenic Reserve

About track difficulties

Around Tarawera Landing and The Orchard

Tarawera Landing is 8 km from Rotorua via Tarawera Road, off Te Ngae Road. The Landing and Boat Shed  Bay are the departure points for scenic boat tours. There is a café beside the carpark. Five minutes walk from the Landing, at Tarawera Orchard, are traditional Maori paintings on a rock face - do not disturb this archaeological site.

Around Humphries Bay

Tarawera Falls, Lake Tarawera Scenic Reserve.
Tarawera Falls, Lake Tarawera Scenic 

At the northern end of Lake Tarawera, Humphries Bay is a pleasant picnic and camping spot accessible by boat or along the Northern Tarawera Track, a moderate tramping track from the Tarawera Outlet.

Around Hot Water Beach

Natural hot springs under the sand provide a relaxing, warm swim. Hot Water Beach, on the southern arm of Lake Tarawera, is accessible by boat. Caution: Localised patches of sand are very hot.


Public jetties are at Tarawera Landing, Tarawera Outlet, Boatshed Bay and Rāpatu Bay.Boat ramps are at Tarawera Landing, Boatshed Bay, Stony Point and a beach boat ramp at Tarawera Outlet. Public toilets are provided at most boating access points and camping areas, and at the Waterfall Road carpark.


Picnic areas are numerous. They include a beautiful spot beside the Tarawera River, 100 metres back along Waterfall Road from the carpark.


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    About this place

    Getting there

    Access to Tarawera Outlet is from Kawerau township (off SH 30 between Rotorua and Whakatane) via private forestry roads which require permits. The forest gate is closed during the hours of darkness. The forest road may be closed in summer when fire risk is high.

    Permits cost $5 and must be collected on the day of entering the forest roads from:

    Kawerau i-SITE Visitor Information Centre
    Plunket Street
    Kawerau 3127
    +64 7 323 6300
    Website - check here for opening hours

    A number of DOC approved commercial operators provide tours, boat charters and transport options in the Lake Tarawera Scenic Reserve.

    Know before you go

    Dogs, horses, vehicles (including bikes and motorbikes), fires, removal of plants or animals, camping outside designated areas and hunting without a permit are not permitted.

    Campers are advised to use gas cookers.

    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

    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.


    Rotorua i-SITE Visitor Information Centre
    Phone:   +64 7 351 7324
    Address:   1167 Fenton St
    Full office details
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