Tucked away on the southern shore of Lake Tarawera, a hot spring trickles down a small stream and into the lake, creating our very own hot water beach at Te Rātā Bay.
Te Rātā Bay and Hot Water Beach were once only accessible by boat. Now, experienced trampers can access the bay and beach from the 15km Tarawera Trail
Start slowly and take care dipping your toes into the water on the lake’s edge as there can be hot spots. Using your hands, dig into the silky sand to feel the beauty of geothermal magic at work. Create a sandy hole to soak in, or build a rock pool to keep the hot water from escaping.
Why not bring your own catch back to shore and cook it or have a fisherman cook it for you. Dig a hole in the sand and place the fish in the hole – the amount of heat given off by the sand is enough to cook the fish.
Hot Water Beach Campsite
is located here and
managed by the Department of Conservation
(DOC). It’s a great spot for campers to enjoy fishing, swimming, kayaking, paddle board and other water activities.
Tarawera Trail starts at Te Wairoa car park on Tarawera Road, an easy and scenic 15-minute drive from Rotorua past Lake Tikitapu (Blue Lake). The trail can be walked in both directions. DOC considers the trail to be an advanced tramping track
. It takes experienced trampers five to six hours one way.
Bikes are not allowed, and the trail is not suited to prams. Dogs are not allowed.
Those that are not inspired to walk are welcome to contact Totally Tarawera
to book their water taxi services from and to The Landing. Be sure to book in advance as the taxi does not operate if there are no bookings.