Great Lake Trail Itinerary

2 Days

71km

Highlights

  • Scenic lakeside riding
  • Remote bush experience

Proximity

  • By car: 3 hr 30 mins from Auckland
  • By car: 20 mins from Taupo

Grade

Grade 3 - Intermediate

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Enjoy two days of epic riding through deep native bush, dip in and out of hidden bays, and past iconic lake views on the Great Lake Trail.

Day 1: Waihaha and Waihora Trails, 32km

Lake Taupo
Great Lake Trail, Lake Taupo

Von Derek Morrison

Ride through rich native bush and past towering volcanic cliffs on this epic cycle trail.

Start your ride from Waihaha River Bridge (located 54km from Taupo township).  Whether you're staying at Whakaipo Lodge, or elsewhere in Taupō, Adventure Shuttles can transport you from/to your accommodation to the section start/end. The Waihaha section of the trail passes through beautiful native bush, past stunning waterfalls and lookouts before merging with the Waihora Trail at the end of Waihaha Road. Continue riding on the Waihora trail, which has incredible views out over the crystal blue waters of Lake Taupo to the mountains beyond. Photo opportunities abound. Lunch at the lake lookout of the Waihora Trail before riding further and arriving at Kotukutuku Bay. From here take the Bay 2 Bay water taxi to Kinloch.

At Kinloch, Adventure Shuttles can transport you back to your luxury accommodation - Whakaipo Lodge, a private and tranquil accommodation located close to the trail, or to your accommodation in Taupō.

Accommodation: Whakaipo LodgeLake Taupo

Day 2: Orakau, K2K and W2K Trails, 33km

Lake Taupo
Great Lake Trail, Lake Taupo

Von Derek Morrison

Endless lake views are your constant companions on this trail.

Endless lake views are your constant companions on the Great Lake Trail.  You can break the trail by enjoying a tranquil scenic day cruise with Chris Jolly Outdoors and enjoy Lake Taupō's renowned thermal wonders on day two,  turning this into a three day experience. Alternatively, you can continue riding the rest of the trail.

If you choose the latter, you will depart Whakaipo Lodge early with Adventure Shuttles. Ride from Whangamata Road down to Kawakawa Bay, past a beautiful native wetland full of bird life, before emerging at the pretty and secluded Kawakawa Bay. 

Kawakawa Bay is a great place to relax with a snack before continuing on the K2K section of the trail. On this section, enjoy sweeping lake views before tackling a fast and flowing descent all the way to Kinloch. You can choose to end your Great Lake Trail adventure at this point and head back to Whakaipo Lodge with Adventure Shuttles, or you can ride over the W2K Trail to Whakaipo Bay.

This trail ascends gently to the headland where fit riders may like to ride the additional Headland Loop (9km) before descending once again on a fast and flowing descent to Whakaipo Bay. It also offers stunning scenery and takes you through native bush on your journey to the end of the trail.

At Whakaipo Bay, if the weather is warm enough, you can cool yourself off with a swim in the lake. This is a popular swimming and boating spot with locals. From Whakaipo Bay ride along Mapara Road for 1km to Whakaipo Lodge.

Accommodation: Whakaipo LodgeLake Taupō

Where to next?

Great Lake Trail →

The Timber Trail →

Mountains to Sea →

Lake Taupo →