Lake Okataine Walking tracks

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Place Category: Free ActivityPlace Tags: glow

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  • Lake Okataina Scenic Reserve provides a wealth of walking opportunities. Find out about some of the walking tracks available.

    Te Auheke Track (means ‘tumbling water’) is a estimate 40 min loop walk. This track is also known as the Cascades Track. The circular track passes a sheer cliff face which is covered by moss and ferns by day and thousands of glow worms at night. Cascade Falls are approximately 10 m high with water falling over and around many rock protusions, creating a picturesque scene.

    Ngahopua Track (means ‘depressions’ or ‘bowls’)
    Time: 50 min to complete loop

    This track is also known as the Twin Lakes Track. Commences immediately opposite the side road to the Outdoor Education Centre, on Okataina Road. It passes 100 m above the twin volcanic crater lakes of Rotongata and Rotoatua, which were formed about 3,500 years ago. They support a variety of interesting birdlife from harrier hawks to scaup and dabchicks.

    Kepa Track
    Time: 10 min one way

    Commences off Okataina Road, 100 m south of the Outdoor Education Centre. The track takes walkers through clearings where evidence of past logging activity remains in the form of old log-loading skids. The track meets up with the Anaha Track.

    Anaha Track
    Time: 60 min one way

    Commences approximately 100 m south of the Outdoor Education Centre, off Okataina Road and finishes 1.2 km further down the road. The track passes through old logging sites where the log-loading ramps or skids are still apparent.

    Tarawhai Track
    Time: 50 min to complete loop

    Commences 50 m down the side road leading to the Education Centre. A circular track which passes some fine examples of rimu, pukatea and tawa, with a wide variety of other native plants present. This makes for an interesting and informative interpretation walk. A 5 m by 5 m fenced-off area has been created beside the southern end of this track to illustrate the effects of introduced browsers (notably, wallabies) on the native vegetation.

    There are toilet and picnicing facilities next to the carpark at Okataina Outdoor Education Centre. There are also toilet, picnicing areas, a boat ramp, swimming areas, historic sites and interpretation pannels at the carpark next to the Okataina Lodge.

    Okataina Outdoor Education Centre
    The centre is managed by the Okataina Outdoor Education and Recreation Trust. Contact them on +64 7 348 4005 to make a booking.

    School groups are encouraged to use the centre during school weeks and it is available to responsible groups at the weekends and during school holidays. Facilities include 91 beds, a fully equipped kitchen with fridge/freezer and storeroom, a dining/meeting room, two study rooms, and toilet block with hot/cold showers. Activities centre around the native bush, wildlife and water.

    The Okataina Outdoor Education Centre is located on Okataina Road and is connected to the lake by walking tracks.

    Getting there
    The tracks are accessed from Okataina Road – turn off SH 30 (Whakatane/ Rotorua Highway) at Ruato, 22 km from Rotorua.


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