Explore forest walks that lead to a series of beautiful waterfalls, the Tutea Caves and Hinemoa's Steps.
Okere River, 'the place of drifting', plummets and scurries through steep, forested ravines before entering the tranquil waters of the Trout Pool. Its beauty can be enjoyed from the Okere Falls Scenic Reserve, which is located 21 kilometres from Rotorua on Trout Pool Road.
Walking tracks in the reserve lead to four picturesque waterfalls, the site of Rotorua's first hydro-electric power station, the Tutea Caves and Hinemoa's Steps. The tracks are well-formed and information panels along the way explain the natural and artificial features within the reserve. Hinemoa's Steps were carved into a rock face in 1907 and lead to the thundering waterfalls and some caves that were used by local Maori women and children to hide during times of war. From a viewing platform near Hinemoa's Steps, you can watch rafters descend the highest commercially rafted waterfall in the world - an 11 metre, white watered plunge into a deep lazy pool below.
The Trout Pool is a popular fishing spot and trout can be seen swimming gently against the current.