Get Your Weekend Wander On – Take to Lake Tarawera

Get Your Weekend Wander On – Take to Lake Tarawera
  • Written by
  • Deepika Sulekh

With the weather warming up and days getting longer, now’s the perfect time to step out, venture, and take a break from the hustle and bustle. And, you don’t need to break the bank or fly far away to do it. Why? Because it’s all here in our own backyard! Plus, seeing things through the eyes of a traveller opens up so many opportunities that you may never have appreciated – or even considered – before.

So, this Spring, we’re exploring Lake Tarawera in Rotorua. A popular destination for visitors year-round, with its natural assets being the centre of the region’s most appealing activities. Here are some must-dos for your weekend away …

Hit the water

When you think of a lake, the obvious choices are the water activities, and Lake Tarawera has an abundance of things to do on the water – jump straight in, kayak, fish and boat cruise to name but a few. Check out the boat tours by Totally Tarawera or lake cruises by Rotorua Duck Tours, complete with stories of the dramatic eruption of Mount Tarawera and the significant ecology and Māori history of the region. These are some of the best ways to discover the magic of the lake.

“Experience the thrill of riding in a WW2 Amphibious ‘duck’ visiting four lakes. View spectacular mountain scenery and other natural wonders. Our fully guided sightseeing and informational tour provides a great introduction to Rotorua’s rich history from Māori migration through to geothermal beginnings. The ducks, the guides and the amazing scenery make this a unique New Zealand experience.”

– Rotorua Duck Tours

Hot Water Beach

This one’s a local hidden secret, which you can only reach via the Tarawera Trail or boat. Located in Te Rata Bay in its own natural hot springs, surrounded by bush with views of the lake and mountains, Hot Water Beach is a paradise unto its own. Gather some rocks and create your own private pool or follow the stream and take a dip in one of the secluded bush pools. There’s even a jumping rock for cannon-ballers!

“Walk the Tarawera Trail to Hot Water Beach, one of New Zealand’s most beautiful day walks. At the end, relax and enjoy a geothermal soak before taking the Water Taxi home, or stop over to experience the geothermal waters of Hot Water Beach on one of our boat tours.”

– Totally Tarawera

Trails and Walks

Outside of the water, there’s trails and walks galore to mesmerise you with stunning landscapes, native New Zealand bush and views of every kind. The 15 km Tarawera Trail takes you through flourishing bush from the Lake Tarawera Scenic Reserve straight to the Hot Water Beach where you can relax and take a soak. Or check out the Tarawera Falls walking track, running parallel to the Tarawera River, traversing amazing native forest with a grand finale – the spectacular Tarawera Falls. Make sure you pack your camera!


Here’s something new, Totally Tarawera offer two glamping sites where you can spend the night in some of New Zealand’s most unique and secluded accommodations – and it’s only accessible via water taxi or walking track. Fall asleep to the sound of the morepork and wake up to the call of the tui, experience pure New Zealand at its best.

“Need time out, or a romantic getaway not too far away but nicely hidden in a stunning lake-edge bush setting? Then one of our two Glamping sites is waiting for you!”

– Totally Tarawera

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