New Zealand Walk: The Great Lake Walk/Cy­cle­way, Taupo

Walking New Zealand - - Contents - By Judy Eva

The Great Lake Walk/Cy­cle­way is a a fan­tas­tic walk/cy­cle path that con­sists of grey brick paving chang­ing to con­crete fur­ther along. It starts at the Lake Taupo Yacht Club (large park­ing area) on Lake Ter­race Road which used to be High­way 1.

It gives fan­tas­tic views of the lake as it winds its way along the edge pass­ing through Two Mile, Three Mile and Four Mile Bay to Five Mile Bay a dis­tance of ap­prox­i­mately 11 kilo­me­tres, twenty two re­turn.

Pic­nic and swim­ming spots can be found along the way with plenty of seats where you can stop for a breather and take in the fab­u­lous views. There is a toi­let in each bay along with plenty of park­ing for cars and mo­tor homes. A chil­dren’s play­ground and bar­be­cue fa­cil­ity at Whare­waka Point not far past Four Mile Bay is very pop­u­lar.

Not far from the be­gin­ning of the walk there is a small hot ther­mal stream that trick­les into the lake edge un­der a small bridge (sign­posted with a warn­ing) the path then car­ries on past hol­i­day homes and mo­tels, then changes to mostly parks, re­serves and mari­nas fur­ther along.

The scenery from one end of the walk to the other is di­verse and one can only ad­mire how it changes so fre­quently.

At the large Five Mile Bay park­ing area there are usu­ally many mo­tor homes where it is per­mit­ted to stay for sev­eral days.

Fol­low the path past the mo­tor homes for a fur­ther maybe kilo­me­tre where it passes in front of more hol­i­day homes then onto a sandy track (not suit­able for mo­bil­ity scoot­ers or pushchairs), that in it­self is a pleas­ant walk/bike un­der

shady and dried skele­tal trees. It even­tu­ally leads out onto the main road south. Care is needed at this exit as it is a main high­way and speed­ing traf­fic.

To re­turn to the be­gin­ning of the walk take the walk­way back again. This walk is suit­able for ev­ery­one in­clud­ing mo­bil­ity scoot­ers, pushchairs, dogs on leashes and bikes.

In all it is a colour­ful, in­ter­est­ing pleas­ant ex­pe­ri­ence and also a pho­tog­ra­pher’s par­adise pretty in all sea­sons. The walk is graded easy and time re­turn de­pend­ing on your pace be­tween two and three hours.

Bike time de­pend­ing on speed ap­prox­i­mately 30 min­utes to an hour. Add on time to that if you stop to take pho­to­graphs. As this is a shared path take care and look out for other users. Above left: Shags preen­ing af­ter be­ing in the lake. Ac­ca­cia Bay is in the back­ground.. Above right: The area says it all. Mid­dle: A sandy are of the walk. Below left:: Res­i­dent Herons live on the shore of the lake. Below right: The trail at 5 Mile Bay.

Above: Chang­ing scenery among the palms. Below left: A nar­row part of the walk­way. www.walk­ingnewzealand.co.nz

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