Te Arawa Lakes Hike

A great hiking itinerary that combines culture and adventure while taking you off the beaten track.

Education Tours NZ – Te Arawa Lakes Hike


“It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves.”


Arrive at Auckland International Airport and travel to Rotorua, a region known for its role in offering some of New Zealand’s best Adventure, Culture and Geothermal sights. We start our time in Rotorua by both preparing for our hiking but also taking on one of our world famous local inventions, Zorbing.


The next morning we head to Lake Rotoiti, to begin our journey. Hiking time today is 3-4 hours depending on fitness. We start the track off from Ngapuka Bay with a steep climb to the top of a ridge before levelling out and continuing on to Rongomai area. Once we reach the Outdoor Centre clearing we cross the field before entering back in to the forest and descending to Lake Okataina. Here we stay in the lodge for one last night of comfort.


Hiking time for day 2 of our adventure is 6-9 hours depending on fitness. The Eastern Okataina Walkway - Following the stunning shores of secluded lake Okataina, we hike for three hours before making it to our last lake of this journey, Tarawera. Take in the awe-inspiring views of Tarawera Volcano as we talk about the amazing Maori history of this wonderful place. Eventually we cross the swing bridge that brings us to Tapahoro where we set up camp for a night under the stars.


Day 3 of hiking and we start with by heading down the Tarawera river and back, taking in the amazing sights of the falls as they jut straight out of the cliffside. We are met at Tapahoro by our water taxi for a boat transfer to Hot Water beach which will be our campsite for the night. Here we enjoy the wonderful geothermal waters and, if fitness allows, a swim in a natural hot water pool.

Last day of hiking can take anywhere between 5-7 hours depending on fitness. Once devastated by the 1886 Tarawera eruption, the Tarawera Trail represents a return of the people to their land and the birthplace of tourism in New Zealand. With lookout views over Lakes Tarawera and Rotomahana, crossings over hot and cold water springs and beautiful native bushland, this last day of hiking is a stunner and a great way to finish this soon be Great Walk of New Zealand.


To finish off our time in Aotearoa, New Zealand, we take on rafting the world famous waterfalls on the Kaituna River before soaking in the healing water of the Polynesian. A chance to reflect on an amazing week of adventuring in The Land of the Long White Cloud.


Itinerary – Daily breakdown

1. Arrive Auckland Airport and travel to Rotorua – Hotel Accommodation – Rotorua

2. Morning: Prepare for hike. Afternoon: Zorbing – Hotel Accommodation – Rotorua

3. Full Day Hike – Lodge/Camping Accommodation – Okataina

4. Full Day Hike – Lodge/Camping Accommodation – Tarawera

5. Full Day Hike – Lodge/Camping Accommodation – Tarawera

6. Full Day Hike. Afternoon: Return to Rotorua – Hotel Accommodation – Rotorua

7. Morning: Rafting Kaituna. Afternoon: Polynesian Spa Geothermal Pools. Evening: Wrap up Dinner

8. Return to Auckland Airport for flight home


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