Great Lake Trail
The Great Lake Trail follows the western shore of Lake Taupō, New Zealand’s largest lake. The trail offers an enjoyable all weather riding experience through native forest where you can enjoy dramatic and stunning views across Lake Taupō to Tongariro National Park. The Great Lake Trail recognises the rights of Ngati Te Kohera as well as Ngati Parekawa, Tarakaiahi and Te Rangiita over which the Trail goes over.
Riders will have the option of riding the full trail over 2-3 days or opt for a range of shorter riding options depending on level of experience and the time available. The Great Lake Trail can be ridden in all seasons. The track’s pumice soil surface means that even in wet weather there is normally little or no mud on the trail. The Great Lake Trail is a two way trail but for the best riding experience, ride in a west to east direction.
Useful Track Information
Respect other trail users , this is a two way trail so share with care and courtesy.
Trails are clearly marked. Please follow the markers.
When encountering other trail users coming the other way, remember to smile and let them know how many are following in your group.
Walkers please give way to bikers.
Please respect the environment. This is an area of high ecological and cultural significance, stay on the trail and take all rubbish with you.
Please take enough drinking water with you for your adventure.
Some parts of the trail may not have cell phone coverage.
Let others know where you are riding. Be safe and log you intentions on our website.
DISTANCE: 13 km
ESTIMATED TIME: Cycling 1.5 hours | Walking 3.5 hours
DESCRIPTION: From the Waihaha River Carpark, the trail follows the river for a few hundred metres before it crosses the river on a swing bridge. The trail then gently climbs up the river onto the cliffs above, following the course of the river to the end of Waihaha Road. The trail has great views of the Waihaha River canyon and waterfall. It is surrounded by Tanekaha dominated native bush and large outcrops of weathered volcanic rocks.
DISTANCE: 9.8 km
ESTIMATED TIME: Cycling 1 hour | Walking 3 hours
DESCRIPTION: From the Whangamata Road carpark, the trail follows the Orakau Stream and Harakeke (flax) wetland through regenerating native bush down to Kawakawa Bay on the edge of Lake Taupō. The trail is generally downhill and offers views across the lake to the volcanoes of Tongariro National Park.
K2K (KAWAKAWA TO KINLOCH)
DISTANCE: 9.2 km
ESTIMATED TIME: Cycling 1.5 hours | Walking 3 hours
DESCRIPTION: From Kawakawa Bay the trail climbs up through native bush to the Te Kauwae headland providing a reward of spectacular views across the lake and Western Bays. The trail then descends to the lake edge with the final section on the lake front before finishing at the village of Kinloch.
W2K (WHAKAIPO TO KINLOCH)
DISTANCE: 13 km
ESTIMATED TIME: Cycling 2 hours | Walking 3 hours
DESCRIPTION: Starting at the Kinloch Domain, follow the markers around the marina and along the waterfront and then up a gully to Boojum Dell. The trail climbs steadily up through native bush and up onto the headland providing great views across the lake and back down into Kinloch. Once on top of the headland the trail then starts a long flowing descent through native bush into Whakaipo Bay. Once again the trail is typified by stunning scenery and views across the lake and along the lakes edge.
DISTANCE: 9.5 km
ESTIMATED TIME: Cycling 1.5 hour | Walking 3 hours
DESCRIPTION: A loop trail option off W2K that follow the top of the Whangamata Bluffs out to the end of the headland. More great native bush and awesome views across the lake to the Kaimanawas, Karangahape Cliffs and Tongariro National Park. There is also a short lookout trail that offers views of Kinloch and Whangamata Bay.
The Great Lake Trail recognises the rights of the Hapu of Ngati Te Kohera as well as Ngati Parekawa, Tarakaiahi and Te Rangiita over the lands which the Trail goes over.
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