A 2.5km walk or mountain bike ride to the top of Mt Kakaramea rewards you with breathtaking 360° views.
This track starts with the easy Crater Lake Walk which takes you two crater lakes within about 15 minutes. From here, continue uphill through regenerating native bush and past the bare, colourful, steaming ridges. There are frequent opportunities to view the surrounding countryside, but to get the complete 360-degree picture, continue up to the summit for one of the best views in the area.
The summit is about 1.5 hours by foot from the crater lakes. Watch out for vehicles in the last 10 minutes to the top. From here you can see Mt Tarawera; Lakes Tarawera, Rotomahana and Rerewhakaaitu to the north; Paeroa Range to the west; the Te Urewera Ranges and Kaimanawa Forest to the east; and Mt Tauhara, Lake Taupo and the volcanic peaks of Tongariro National Park to the south.
Access is free. There are toilet facilities at the beginning of the track.
Dogs are not permitted.
More information can be found on the Department of Conservation Summit Track website.
Open to uphill mountain biking only, the Rainbow Mountain Summit Track is part of a fantastic mountain bike loop. Start on the Te Ara Ahi Cycle Trail (Grade 2 - Easy) from the carpark on SH 5 or at Te Ranga (Kerosene Creek). Ride uphill on Te Tihi O Ruru (the summit track) and descend on Te Ranga, a downhill mountain bike only track (Grade 4 - Advanced).