This blog was last updated in May 2021.
Rotorua is an outdoor enthusiasts’ playground full of amazing scenery. In order to take in the full beauty of Rotorua, it’s best to pull on the hiking boots and set off on one of the many free walks in and around this geothermal city. With so many walking trails to choose from, we’ve narrowed down our top picks for the best intermediate walks in and around Rotorua.
First off, we start our two-foot journey in the mighty Whakarewarewa Forest, also known as The Redwoods. The track begins in the Western side of Whakarewarewa and winds its way through varied terrain and giving adventurers multiple aspects of the forest. After the initial few kilometres, you’ll meander through mature Radiata pine, Mexican pine, Japanese larch and Douglas fir. A steep climb will reward you with an expansive view across Rotorua city, Lake Rotorua, Waipa Sawmill and the Whakarewarewa Thermal Reserve – if you are extra lucky you might even see the Pohutu Geyser erupt!
The walk encompasses what the Redwoods is all about – towering giants that have stood the test of time. This peaceful, tranquil walk will reconnect you with Mother Nature, leaving you refreshed for whatever Rotorua throws at you next.
Click here for more information on this breath-taking walking track.
Kaharoa Kokako Track
A little further out of town, you’ll find the Kaharoa Kokako Track, located in the Kaharoa Conservation Area. This walking track, also known as Hollow Track, meanders its way through some amazing New Zealand nature leading to the Onaia stream. The track was originally formed in 1997 by a charitable trust to ensure the protection and conservation of the Kokako bird. As you walk along this tranquil nature reserve you may be fortunate enough to hear the peaceful sing-song of the native bird. Other native birds that have been sighted in the area include Tui, bellbirds, Morepork owls, wood pigeons and even the occasional North Island Brown Kiwi.
The track itself is approximately 1.2km long with some sections a little steeper than the average gradient.
Duration: 45mins (one way)
Click here for more information on this spectacular walking track.
Tarawera Outlet to Falls Track
The Tarawera Falls Track gets you up close and personal with the ‘sleeping’ volcano that is Mount Tarawera. Located in the township of Kawerau to the East of Rotorua, you’ll find this amazing walking track.
The track begins at the Tarawera Outlet swing bridge and winds through native bush, largely following the river. Continuing along the peaceful track you’ll zigzag down steep escarpments to a viewing area at the base of the Tarawera Falls. This is a fantastic place to take some perfect ‘Insta’ worthy shots!
The track can be damaged at some points and caution should be taken throughout the walk. Overall the track should take you approximately 2hrs to complete (longer if you stop for a swim along the way).
Distance: 5km (one way)
Duration: 2hrs (one way)
Click here for more information on this amazing walking track.