Hemo Gorge Trail - Te Ara Ahi

Heading out to the forest from town, the trail starts at the southern end of the Te Puia carpark and drops down a wide, well-bermed section to the valley floor for a quick run to the Puarenga stream. Rotorua's water used to come from the Waipa Spring and the pipes and buildings have been uncovered as part of the work. At the old pumping station, take the stairs to a great spot with a view back down the gorge to the city. There are seats everywhere to rest and take in the environment. Continue south and you will reach a fork. Turn right and it's a steep-ish climb, and turning left takes you along the river to well-engineered stairs for a short hike-a-bike. Get ready for a fast downhill and then after a steady climb, you will arrive at the Bridge to Waipa - an impressive structure! On the left is single-track to the Waipa Mountain Biking carpark and you are at the trailhead. Head right on the pathway to Waipa Mill Road and right again to SH5, and you will find the concrete strip of Te Ara Ahi on the left of the highway.

The Hemo Gorge Trail is two-way, Grade 2, shared trail that takes cyclists and walkers off SH5 for access to the Waipa Mountain Biking car park. It is part of the Te Ara Ahi Cycleway, that continues to Rainbow Mountain. The trail is 1.5km from the Te Puia carpark to the Waipa car park (actual trail length to Waipa trailhead: 1.5km).

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Contact Details

Whakarewarewa Forest, Waipa State Mill Rd, Rotorua, 3074

Pricing & Conditions


Hours: Daylight hours and night with lights.

Months of Operation: Open all year