Rotorua's Tarawera Trail

Deemed as one of NZ's next great walks, walking the Tarawera Trail is the perfect way to explore Lake Tarawera's Hot Water Beach.

Rotorua's Tarawera Trail helps to make the picnic and camping spot of Hot Water Beach at Lake Tarawera easily accessible for walkers and hikers – albeit with a little effort.

The one-way walk is expected to take moderately fit walkers around 4-5 hours to complete. It winds around the lake from the Te Wairoa car park to Te Rata Bay (Hot Water Beach) for 11km.

Tarawera Trail Trust trustee Te Ohu Mokai Wi Kingi says the trail is set to become one of New Zealand’s greatest walks.

"The volcanic backdrop, geothermal features of the lake, surrounding bush and cultural and historic stories make this trail one of a kind.

"We’re expecting 33,000 people a year to walk the trail – or around 90 people per day.”

Panels along the trail will educate walkers and hikers about the history and ecology of the area.

“The trail is a perfect addition to the region as it has a low impact on the environment and ensures tangata whenua, as kaitiaki of the area, continue the stories of their forefathers.”

The Tarawera Trail was built in partnership between the Department of Conservation and several private Maori land blocks that border Lake Tarawera and the Te Wairoa Valley.

In October 2013 the trail was honoured by the gift of a carved wooden Pou, Ohomairangi, by Tourism New Zealand and Te Puia|NZMACI, acknowledging the local hapu, Ngati Hinemihi and Tūhourangi’s significant contribution in establishing New Zealand’s tourism industry.

Ngati Hinemihi and Tūhourangi were New Zealand’s very first hosts, welcoming and guiding domestic and international visitors to the Pink and White Terraces on Lake Tarawera.

The Tarawera Trail is the first of the proposed network of trails, planned for development in the future, involving DOC and Maori private land owners to connect the 14 Te Arawa Lakes in the Rotorua region.

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