This is Tarawera
The birthplace of tourism in New Zealand
Our people have been hosting visitors to the Tarawera area for hundreds of years, since the first tourists travelled to visit the Pink and White Terraces, thought to be the 8th Wonder of the World.
Tarawera is steeped in history and cultural significance. The eruption of Mount Tarawera in 1886 devastated the area, killing more than 150 people, burying the villages and destroying all plant life.
Today, the area is known not only for this history, but also for the incredible natural environment created by the eruption. Discover lakeside hiking trails through regenerating native bush, hike to the 65-metre high Tarawera Falls, and relax in natural lakeside hot pools.
Come and experience the stunning landscapes of Tarawera and uncover the stories of this special place in our history.
The natural landscapes of Tarawera can be explored on foot, by water and even by air, with a host of experiences and activities.
Waimangu Volcanic Valley Walk
Waimangu Volcanic Valley. Enjoy the history and geothermal attractions on a boat cruise around beautiful Lake Rotomahana. Explore this amazing, natural environment that has been unaltered by man since its creation in 1886.
Ultimate Day Out
Totally Tarawera. Enjoy a full day boating adventure on Lake Tarawera that includes a freedom walk to the stunning Tarawera Falls, a visit to the geothermal of Hot Water Beach and then a rewarding soak in a beautiful natural bush hot pool. Your skipper- guide will share the fascinating history and stories of this historic area.
Tarawera Trail Lake Tarawera Walk
Totally Tarawera. A Stunning 15km (5hr) walk to Hot Water Beach. Once there reward yourself with a relaxing geothermal soak in the lake and maybe stay a night or two at the lake-edge DOC campsite. After that catch the water taxi back home or get us to bring over your camping gear.
Floatplane adventure with Tarawera trail hike
Volcanic Air. From a scenic floatplane flight and a half day hike on the Tarawera trail this extraordinary day out showcases a variety of scenery not found anywhere else in New Zealand “if not the world” and only two and a half hours from Auckland.
Buried Village Experience
Buried Village. Experience stories of survival and resilience told throughout our museum exhibits and in over 1km of heritage excavations. Wander through our beautiful park where the people of Te Wairoa lived before the 1886 Tarawera eruption which includes the Te Wairoa Stream and waterfall walk.
Floatplane Eruption Trail Tour
Volcanic Air. Departing our Rotorua Lakefront pier, experience the thrill of a floatplane takeoff before climbing above Mokoia Island on track to the volcanic peaks of Mount Tarawera. Above Tarawera, views of cavernous craters reveal the power of what was the largest eruption in New Zealand’s living memory.
Lake Tarawera Cruise
Totally Tarawera. Experience beautiful Lake Tarawera on Sophia, our 12m lake cruise boat. This gets you access to one of the most beautiful lakes in New Zealand and its amazing history before enjoying a stopover at Hot Water Beach. Perfect for schools, tour groups or private functions.
Tarawera & Lakes Eco Tour
Duck Tours. Take a ride on NZ’s only amphibious WWII Landing crafts through Rotorua’s spectacular lakes district. Visit up to 4 crater lakes including the amazing Lake Tarawera at the base of Mt Tarawera. Learn about Rotorua’s rich history, while viewing its most incredible scenery from both land and lake.
Tarawera Falls Walk
Totally Tarawera. Regarded as one of the best short walks and waterfalls in New Zealand. Stunning (3.5hr) return bush walk from the lake with 2 great waterfalls prior to reaching the falls themselves. The 25 minute Water Taxi trip over the lake to start the walk and return is also something special.
Steaming Cliffs Kayak Tour
Paddle Board Rotorua & Waimangu Volcanic Valley,. Discover Lake Rotomahana by kayak, paddle to bays full of geothermal wonders on the water's edge. Learn stories of the Pink and White Terraces, the Tarawera eruption and the creation of Waimangu Volcanic Valley.
Guided Village Tour
Whakarewarewa Maori Village. Enjoy our Legacy guided tour and home of the Tūhourangi Ngāti Wāhiao people who have been sharing their way of life with visitors from all around the world for over 200 years. Discover how our people have adopted and survived to live on top of a caldera, a truly intrepid human journey since the devastating eruption of Mt Tarawera in 1886.
Floatplane Mt Tarawera fly / drive combo
Volcanic Air. Combine the experience of a 4WD hiking tour on Mount Tarawera, operated by our partner Kaitiaki Adventures, with a scenic floatplane tour.
Whakarewarewa Maori Village. Our new geothermal nature trails provide exclusive access to an untouched geothermal landscape where Visitors can experience the raw nature of Papatuanuku (mother-earth). The Jurassic park-like landscape are described as providing regenerative powers as You find yourself face-to-face with Nature, Hot Spring Lakes, Mud Pools, Geysers and native manuka bushlands.
Full Waimangu Experience
Waimangu Volcanic Valley. Discover the Waimangu Volcanic Valley and Lake Rotomahana with the Full Waimangu Experience. You’ll enjoy beautiful walking & hiking trails, woven through a natural geothermal ecosystem. Complete the experience with a 45 minute boat cruise around Lake Rotomahana, the final resting place of the Pink & White Terraces.
Mt Tarawera Volcanic Crater Experience
Kaitiaki Adventures. Experience the unique landscape and history of Mt Tarawera. Infamous for its eruption on June 10th, 1886, Mt Tarawera created the world’s youngest geothermal valley of Waimangu, at the same destroying the legendary Pink and White Terraces. This fully guided walking experience encompasses the unique landscape and history of the area. With unmatched scenic vistas and 360 panoramic views this experience is ideal for all ages and includes an optional run in to the heart of the volcanic crater. This activity includes transportation to and from accommodation.
Hot Water Beach
Totally Tarawera. Stay a few hours, all day, overnight or for several days. This lake-edge DOC campsite is perfect for a picnic, geothermal swimming, camping with the family (where you can try geothermal cooking in the sand). Book the Water Taxi for you or your gear if you are walking in vial the Tarawera Trail.
Helicopter 'Tarawera Falls' Volcanic Heli Hike
Volcanic Air. From lofty Volcanic heights to a magical waterfall this extraordinary day out showcases a variety of scenery not found anywhere else in New Zealand "if not the world" and only two and a half hours from Auckland
Discovery Tour Lake Tarawera
Totally Tarawera. Rotorua’s leading provider of personal, in-depth combined Māori cultural, geothermal and ecotour experience. Our 2 hour lake tour includes a visit to Hot Water Beach and the Natural Bush Hot Pool for a geothermal soak. Your guide will keep you enthralled and amused along the way.
Helicopter Mt Tarawera Volcanic Landing and guided walk
Volcanic Air. Fly to the site of the largest eruption in New Zealand’s living memory. Landing on Mount Tarawera offers a privileged view of spectacular craters and domes formed by the 1886 eruption. Here you will enjoy an interesting commentary based on the region’s history, culture and geology. Scenic flights to and from the volcano take in expansive views of our stunning Lakes District and National Parks, not to mention a beautiful view of Mount Tarawera from above
Lake Rotomahana Boat Cruise
Waimangu Volcanic Valley. Explore walking and hiking options for all fitness levels in the Waimangu Volcanic Valley. Choose the highlights walk, or opt for the full walk. Add the Mt Haszard hiking trail for the full experience.
Accommodation & Venues
The Tarawera area boasts stunning accommodation options for a range of budgets, from camping alongside natural hot pools, to staying at unique glamping spots or holiday homes with stunning lake and mountain views, right up to a luxury lodge. Tarawera is also easily accessible from accommodation in Rotorua if you prefer to stay closer to the city centre.
If you’re looking for the perfect venue to celebrate a special occasion, there’s The Black Barn, available for weddings and functions.
Solitaire Lodge. Nine luxurious suites feature spectacular views over Lake Tarawera. Renowned for its fine dining, Solitaire lodge serves contemporary New Zealand cuisine complemented by superb wines from selected local vineyards. Embark on a scenic helicopter flight, hike 65 meter waterfalls or explore tranquil waters in a kayak or motorised dinghy.
Hot Water Beach Campsite
Whakarewarewa Maori Village. Located on the shores of beautiful Te Rata Bay on the southern arm of Lake Tarawera and complete with its own natural hot springs, Hot Water Beach campground is one of Rotorua’s secret gems and one of New Zealand’s most unique and beautiful campsites.
Boatshed Bay Retreat holiday home
Tarawera Property Management Ltd Such a gorgeous place to hide away and spend time with loved ones, friends and family. Set up on the hill with extensive views across the lake to the magnificent volcano. Perfect location at the top end of Spencer Road close to the boat launches at Kariri Point (boat shed bay) and Stoney Point Beach and reserve.
Fantail Loft holiday home
Tarawera Property Management Ltd Newly refurbished, beautifully appointed guest suite, seperate from the main house. The views from Fantail Loft are breathtaking. Great location at the end of the lake just a short walk to Otumutu Lagoon Bay where the water is generally calm as it is protected from prevailing winds. Romantic break for couples, small families and solo adventurers. Close to spectacular walking tracks, lake activities, mountain bike trails.
Totally Tarawera. Accessed by Water Taxi a stay at Kanuka, set in the discrete lake-edge, native bush location, under towering Pohutukawa at Lake Tarawera is something very very special. Surround yourself with nature and appreciate the magic of this truly amazing place. Kayak, swim, walk to our hot pool or do absolutely nothing - the choice is yours.
Spencer Lodge holiday home
Tarawera Property Management Ltd. Thinking of embarking on a luxury break with loved ones, celebrating that milestone of a lifetime, or taking time out for a fun filled holiday with family and friends? Spencer Lodge holiday home is set within 18 acres of private grounds featuring landscaped gardens, rolling sheep and deer grazed paddocks and a magnificent ponga forest to the rear of the property. The lodge enjoys unparalleled panoramic views of Lake Tarawera and the volcano. Enter through the gates of Spencer Lodge and leave the real world behind.
Lulus Pad holiday home
Tarawera Property Management Ltd Relax and unwind at Lulu's Pad, step off your own jetty into the pristine lake, soak in the hot tub and enjoy astonishing views of Mount Tarawera at our lakefront accommodation. Newly renovated, dog friendly accommodation offers open plan kitchen, dining, and living with all the modern comforts you need to feel at home. Heat pump, wood burner, comfortable beds, wi-fi, sky tv and hot tub.
Weddings at The Black Barn
The Black Barn. Allow the team at The Black Barn Lake Tarawera to help you create a truly memorable wedding for you and your guests. From the stunning lake and mountain backdrop to the charming kiwi barn set amongst beautiful gardens, native bush and rolling hills, The Black Barn is the perfect place to say I do in style.
The Woolshed holiday home
Tarawera Property Management Ltd Idyllic rural bliss meets upscale country glamour! This two-bedroom converted woolshed is a unique find, nestled on the grounds of private Spencer Lodge surrounded by nature with a view through to the lake and mountain. Soak in the woodfired hottub, take the kayak out on the lake, catch a fish, walk along the lake front. Pet friendly.
Tarawera Holiday Homes
Tarawera Property Management Ltd. A selection of gorgeous holiday homes at beautiful Lake Tarawera. Each property is unique from a stylish traditional family bach to an opulent lodge. The local holiday managers are on hand to help organize excursions, delicious grazing platters for your arrival or even the services of a private chef if required.
The Hunting Huts Accommodation
The Black Barn. A fresh take on the classic kiwi bach, perfect for romantic getaways or active families alike. A soak in the genuine Stoked Hot tub underneath the stars with the highest views at the lake is a must do!
Tironui holiday home
Tarawera Property Management Ltd Spread over four levels this gorgeous holiday home provides the ultimate getaway for families and friends. Natural light floods into the living areas through an expanse of glazing with views that stretch out across Tarawera's legendary waters with the mountain rising dramatically. Featuring restful bedrooms and areas to relax. So much outdoor living, the property even has its own bush walk at the back - you may even spot some glow worms! Lake access is literally across the road.
Mana Sarovar holiday home
Tarawera Property Management Ltd A spectacular place to enjoy quality time with family and friends. Oodles of space inside and out. A designer kitchen and open plan living area with a cosy fireplace plus central heating. Floor to ceiling glass doors open out to a vast deck with huge parasol and outdoor lounge. Also on the deck is a spa pool with breathtaking views of the lake and mountain. Private access to the lake is via a set of steps at the bottom of the garden.
Functions at The Black Barn
The Black Barn. Whether you are planning an exclusive private function, an incentive experience or a unique corporate event such as a product launch, The Black Barn Lake Tarawera is the perfect choice with its stunning natural setting and quintessential New Zealand vibe.
InnList Holiday Houses. Tarawera Views is a luxurious five bedroom home sitting on the hillside at Mission Hill with a tranquil native bush backdrop and a fantastic wide view over Lake Tarawera. Enjoy the views from spa or just relax inside, light the fire and whip up a feast in the entertainer's kitchen.
Jacks Hut Glamping
Tarawera Property Management Ltd A romantic genuine 1940's shepherds hut surrounded by native bush and paddocks with breathtaking views across Lake Tarawera and volcano. Take a kayak out on the lake, go for a swim at Stoney Point, walk along the lake front or soak in the woodfired hot tub big enough for two - a truly special escape.
Find out where the locals have fun.
Check out what some of our visitors have gotten up to.