Tramping New Zealand

Tarawera Trail
Lake Tarawera Scenic Reserve

2 - 3 June 2018 (Queens Birthday Weekend)

For Queens Birthday weekend, we headed down to Lake Tarawera Scenic Reserve.  This was a last minute change from the original trip which was planned for the Kaimanawa's due to the weather forecast.  I was joined by Staci, Chris S, Abigail and Stuart.

Day 1 Travel to Rotorua
Tarawera Landing - Hot Water Beach Campsite
5.5 Hours
Day 2 Hot Water Beach Campsite - Tarawera Landing
Travel back to Auckland
4.5 Hours

Track Profile

Track Profile (

Day 1 (Saturday):

Due to the weather forecast and as a compromise for the long weekend, we headed down to Rotorua from Auckland, it was a nice drive down after an early morning start.  We parked up at Tarawera Landing, which is at the road-end of Tarawera Road.  We then packed up, ready for an overnight tramp.  We headed off just after 11.15am.  The first bit was to join up with the main track, which goes alongside of the lake.  The track is of a good standard.  Every now and again you got some really nice views of the area.

After an hour we reached Hawaiki Bay, where we stopped for lunch for about 1/2 hour.  After taking some lakeside photos, we continued on, enjoying the varied bush and its views.

Lake Tarawera with Mt Tarawera (
Lake Tarawera with Mt Tarawera | Photo Credit: Chris Foster

Now go to the business part of the track where we had a couple of hills to go over, especially the big hill that we have to go over in order to reach the campsite.

We arrived at the campsite, spoke with the warden and suggested places to setup tents.  Once done, we then went for a swim at the beach as it was getting dark.  There was a little pool area that we relaxed in, which had constant source of hot water from a stream (hence the name hot water beach) and we had to mix it with the cold water of the lake, this was enjoyable.  Afterwards we then cooked dinner and went to bed.


Day 2 (Sunday):

Got up to a cloudy grey morning.  Had breakfast and packed up our tents.  Spoke with the warden and he showed us the weather forecast, which was about to come for us, so we started our way back, up the big hill.

As we were heading back to the beginning of the track, we had to put our rain jackets on as it started to rain lightly.  The rain was intermittent but nothing too bad.  With keeping stops to a minimum we got back to the car quicker.

Upon stripping into dry clothes, we drove back to Rotorua where we stopped for lunch at Burger Fuel.  After lunch we then went to Polynesian Spa to relax in the hot pools as the rain then started to pour down.

Finally, we headed back home to Auckland, driving carefully through the rain storm.



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Further Information


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