Lake tarawera – the ro­torua dis­trict’s hid­den gem


Most peo­ple will think of the lost Pink and White Ter­races when they hear the name Lake Tarawera. It was be­lieved that the ter­races were com­pletely de­stroyed in the mas­sive erup­tion of Mount Tarawera in 1886. How­ever, two years ago, a team of sci­en­tists re­dis­cov­ered them when map­ping the lake floor. This was a hugely ex­cit­ing find and has reignited in­ter­est in the area.

If his­tory is your thing, of course a visit to the Buried Vil­lage (from the same erup­tion) should be on your list as well as tak­ing the chance to gaze out to the stun­ning lake where the Pink and White Ter­races awed lo­cals and tourists 150 years ago.

What strikes me the most each time I visit Lake Tarawera, is the un­be­liev­able beauty of the place. Ro­torua is a hub for ad­ven­ture-junkies and while Lake Tarawera can be wa­ter-skied and hiked also, it has a cer­tain seren­ity that makes it equally en­joy­able to just be one with na­ture. Many of the ac­com­mo­da­tion op­tions have lake­side views.

Driv­ing there from Ro­torua, you will pass all th­ese beau­ti­ful bays, so stop and have a swim if it is sum­mer and get some pho­tos if it is too cool for a dip.

Once you have in­dulged in the adren­a­line-filled ac­tiv­i­ties in Ro­torua I have de­scribed in this story, how about tak­ing a cou­ple of days to visit Lake Tarawera which in my view far sur­passes Ro­torua in terms of its beauty?

In­dulge in some trout fish­ing and wa­ter sports in sea­son and unwind on one of its hot wa­ter beaches.

There are great restau­rants right on the wa­ter’s edge, boats to cruise the lake on and also the chance to land on Mount Tarawera (by he­li­copter or boat) and hike up to its crater, al­though this has to be or­gan­ised in ad­vance with one of the au­tho­rised tour op­er­a­tors and can­not be done in­de­pen­dently.

Have fun!

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