Walkers and hikers alike will delight in Rotorua. It has some of the world’s most beautiful lakes and forests where trails and walkways abound for each kind of person. There is the ever-popular Tarawera Trail which offers a treat to adventurers. The trail ends at a geothermal pool where exhausted travellers can relax. The area also hosts both the Tarawera Trail Marathon and the Tarawera Ultramarathon. There’s also a lot more than visitors can discover. Here are the top locations in Rotorua for hiking and waking:
Opened in January 2016, the Redwoods Treewalk is the latest addition in Rotorua’s list of eco-tourism attractions. It offers a breath-taking experience of the Redwoods which is by far the most popular attraction in the area. The Redwoods Treewalk has a 500-meter walkway that is interconnected by 23 suspension bridges of which are attached to century-old Redwood trees. It adds a bit of excitement when you are walking high up on the trees. Each tree has its own 22 living decks that are purposely installed so visitors can fully embrace the wonder of the majestic forest.
Lake Okareka Walkway
A popular spot for walkers, the Lake Okareka walkway offers a refreshing path for everyone and even for people in a wheelchair. The walkway is a 2.5-kilometre-long stretch that ends at the lake outlet. You will spend an hour and a half on the walk back. While you’re at it, you can immerse yourself with the farmland, native vegetation, lake, beach, and local wildlife.
Mt Kakaramea Summit Track
To reach the top of Mount Kakaramea, you need to walk 2.5 kilometres. After reaching the two crater lakes, continue hiking up north through the native bush and steaming ridges. Along the way, you’ll easily catch different opportunities to get a glimpse of the countryside in a spectacular 360-degree fashion. If you want to get a better view, you can always head further up, reaching the summit for more beautiful sceneries.
Mt Ngongotaha Jubilee Track
At the start of the track, you’ll be greeted with native bush and some of the largest Rata trees you can find in the Bay of Plenty. During the early 1900s, Rata trees abound in Ngongotaha. However, the number of trees declined after the introduction of pests and logging in the area. However, the track remains a wonderful place to be one with nature.
Katoa Lake Rotorua – Mokoia Island
Before enjoying the trek at Mokoia Island, travellers can enjoy the jet boat ride through Lake Rotorua. Once on the island, walkers can explore the wildlife sanctuary and all its glory. You also get to learn more about the island as experienced guides let you in on the history of the place, local wildlife, and its cultural heritage.
If you are an avid hiker, the Pohaturoa Track is perfect for you. The track requires hikers to be of reasonable fitness and come equipped with decent footwear for the 7.5-kilometre journey. Travellers start by heading at the western side of Whakarewarewa. After the long climb up, adventurers will be rewarded with stunning views. If you happen to be passing by at the right moment, you can also spot the Pohutu Geyser erupting.
Okere Falls Track
The Okere Falls Track and its 1.2-kilometre long stretch is perfect for everyone. Though not so long of a journey, walkers can enjoy the scenic views of Kaituna River as well as its majestic waterfalls. Along the track are several information panels that provide more details of the area and its cultural importance.
Quarry Lookout Track
At 4.8 kilometres long, the Quarry Lookout Track requires walkers of decent fitness levels and sturdy footwear. After walking through the Redwoods and climbing up an area filled with different Eucalyptus species, European Larch, and Douglas fir, you’ll reach the lookout point. From this area, above the old rhyolite quarry, travellers can enjoy the views of Redwood Grove, Lake Rotorua, as well as the main city.
Redwood Memorial Grove Track
This is one of the popular tracks in Rotorua. It is perfect for walkers of all fitness levels. It’s only a 30-minute walk through the marvellous Californian Redwoods but it is nothing short of a wonderful journey. One distinguishing feature of the track is the boardwalk. It will take you through the old thermal pond which showcases several plant life that you’ll only in the area.
If you want to experience something new, you have got to try the Tarawera Trail. It will take you through a 4-5 hour long journey around Lake Tarawera up to Te Rata Bay. Travellers will be greeted with several intermittent climbs that ultimately lead down to Te Rata Bay for a relaxing soak at the Hot Water Beach. Aside from the wonderful views, you can see along the way, the historical and cultural stories found on the information panels will make the journey more fulfilling.