Great Lake Trail Waihaha and Waihora

The Waihaha and Waihora sections of the Great Lake Trail take you on a stunning journey from the Waihaha River to the beautiful shores of Lake Taupo.

Waihaha Section (Waihaha River Bridge to the end of Waihaha Road)

Grade

3

Distance

13km

Time required

Cycling 1.5 hours, Walking 3.5 hours

Phone coverage

Intermittent

Toilets

At start and finish of trail

Shuttle

Yes. Must be pre-booked. More information here.

Description:

The Waihaha section of the Great Lake Trail starts at the Waihaha River carpark and follows the river for a few hundred metres before it crosses the river on a swing bridge. From here the trail climbs gently up to the cliffs above and continues to follow the river to the end of Waihaha Road. The trail takes in some amazing views of the Waihaha River canyon and its spectacular waterfall, and is surrounded by native bush and some interesting volcanic rock outcrops.

From the trail end you can either return the same way back to your car or arrange for a shuttle service to pick you up. Those with good levels of fitness usually continue on the 17km Waihora section of the trail to Kotukutuku Bay.

 

Waihora Section (end of Waihaha Road to Kotukutuku Landing)

Grade

3

Distance

17km

Time required

Cycling 2 hours, Walking 4 hours

Phone coverage

Intermittent

Toilets

At start and finish of trail

Shuttle

Yes. Shuttle services and water taxi available.

Description:

The Waihora section of the trail is very scenic, offering expansive views of Lake Taupo and the mountains beyond. The trail takes you through native bush with large stands of beautiful Kamahi. The terrain is undulating with moderate climbs followed by fun descents, and there are several lookouts to enjoy along the way. Many riders stop for a breather at Echo Rock to check out the spectacular acoustic qualities of this large rock overhanging the trail. The final descent follows the Kotukutuku Stream down over a series of incredible boardwalks, bridges and platforms, before emerging at a tranquil bay known as Kotukutuku Landing.

From here it is recommended you take a water taxi to either Kawakawa Bay (linking up with the K2K section of trail) or to Kinloch. You can also book a shuttle to take you to the trail start in the morning if you have parked your car at Kinloch, or to take you back to your car at the end of the day if you have parked your car at the trail start.

 

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