Great Lake Trail Orakau and K2K

Discover a fun and flowing single track that takes you past a native wetland down to the shores of the beautiful Lake Taupo, then up and over to Kinloch.

Orakau (Whangamata Road to Kawakawa Bay)

Grade

3

Distance

9.8km

Time required

Cycling 1 hour, Walking 3 hours

Phone coverage

Intermittent

Toilets

At start and finish of trail

Shuttle

Yes. Shuttle services and water taxi available.

Description:

The Orakau trail departs from the Whangamata Road carpark and follows the Orakau Stream and wetland down to Kawakawa Bay. A generally downhill ride, the trail is a series of beautifully laid out corners and berms that flow through regenerating native bush down to the shores of Lake Taupo. As with the other sections of the Great Lake Trail, the Orakau trail offers stunning views across the lake to the volcanoes of Tongariro National Park.

This is an achievable ride for novice riders or those with less than average fitness levels due to the generally downhill nature of the terrain and the shorter distance. It is, however, also a fun ride for more experienced riders who will be able to take advantage of some of the free flowing sections of the trail.

 

Kawakawa Bay is a good place for a rest or lunch stop before continuing on the K2K section of the Great Lake Trail to Kinloch, or you can make the return ascent to your car or be picked up by water taxi. A shuttle service is available to drop you at the start of the trail or pick you up in Kinloch if you continue riding on the K2K section.

 

K2K (Kawakawa Bay to Kinloch)

Grade

3

Distance

9.2km

Time required

Cycling 1.5 hours, Walking 3 hours

Phone coverage

Intermittent

Toilets

At start and finish of trail

Shuttle

Yes. Shuttle services and water taxi available.

Description:

The K2K trail can be ridden in either direction – from the south (starting at Kawakawa Bay) as a continuation of the Orakau Trail, or from the north starting from Kinloch village.

Starting from Kawakawa Bay, the trail immediately tackles a 3km climb by zigzagging up through native bush to the Te Kauwae headland. There are magnificent views both west across the many picturesque bays of Lake Taupo and south to the volcanoes of Tongariro National Park. The trail flattens out for a while before descending in a series of well-built berms and corners to the lake edge, where it follows the lakefront to Kinloch village.

If ridden in the opposite direction (from Kinloch to Kawakawa Bay) the climb up to the headland is somewhat shorter, at approximately 1km, leaving a fun 3km descent into Kawakawa Bay.

 

When you arrive at Kinloch, you can either continue on to the W2K section of the trail, or meet your pre-arranged shuttle to take you back to your car at the Whangamata Road carpark/start of the Orakau trail. There is food, drinks, coffee and other basic supplies available at both the general store and Tipsy Trout café in Kinloch.

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