Okere Falls Scenic Reserve
Located directly down from Kaituna Cascades The Okere Scenic Reserve Track offers a beautiful short walk showcasing the world famous 7m Tutea Falls, the worlds highest commercially rafted waterfall. Stretch your legs and watch the rafts tumble over the falls, as the track offers multiple viewing platforms. Rich in Maori history, Okere roughly translates to the place of drifting, which is fitting for its tranquil setting. The start of the track features a grassy knoll complete with picnic table, a perfect spot for a lunchtime munch. Be sure to check out Hinemoa’s steps halfway down the track, an impressive set of stairs carved into the ignimbrite rock face. Allow 1 hour.
A bit off the beaten track, Tarawera Falls is seriously worth the effort. Experience the splendor of waterfalls surging out of fissures in the rock face. Since the eruption of Mt Tarawera falls in 1886, the native bush in the area has regenerated. Plenty of pohutukawa and rata incase the fern dominant forest floor. Be sure to walk all the way to the Tarawera Outlet, talking the longer track option on the loop track. Follow the path to discover the river disappearing right under your feet into underground fissures! If you feel like spending more time in this magical place DOC have a campsite at the top of the outlet. Allow 2 hours each way.
Lake Tarawera Trail to Te Rata Bay
On the southern shores of Lake Tarawera, lies the glorious Te Weta Bay. Locally known as hot water beach, a hot spring feeds into the lake. Whether you dig a hole with your hands in the sand, or build a neat rock pool to stop the water from rushing out, you will be sure to enjoy a relaxing hot soak after a long hike. Passing through native bush, the hike out to the bay surely is impressive. It’s 15km one way, making for a pretty big day walk. Once you reach the end of the trail you have 3 options, hike back out, camp overnight, or grab a prearranged water taxi with Totally Tarawera.
Starting at the Crater Lake Walk, continue uphill to the Summit Track. On a clear day the view is stunning, showcasing many of Rotorua’s Lakes and Volcanoes. If you’re lucky enough you will even get to glimpse peaks from Tongariro National park. The track will wind you up the mountain, allowing you to take in the unique native vegetation, and the bare rainbow-coloured steaming ridges. If you’re in need of a free hot-pool afterwards, drive around the corner to Keresone Creek. Allow 3 hours.
Mt Ngongotaha - Jubilee and Nature Loop Tracks
With free views that rival paying to go up skyline, why would you not? Hike through unlogged native forest which features some of the Bay Of Plenty’s largest Rata trees. It’s highly recommend driving up Mountain Road to make the most of the stunning views of Lake Rotorua. From there summit Mt Nongataha and start the Jubilee Track. This will lead you down the other side of the mountain and into the Nature Loop Track. Take the loop before heading back up to where you started from. Allow 3-4 hours.
The Eastern Okataina Walkway
A stunning 3 hour one way hike winding through Lake Okataina’s’ Scenic Reserve. The lake shores are graced with pohutukawa, with the forest is rich with rimu, rata, kahikatea, and birdlife. This hike is perfect for a hot day, where you are shaded by the forest, and plentiful opportunities to take a dip in the cool, crystal clear lake water. Make it an overnight adventure by camping at Humphries Bay. Allow 6-7 hours.