My Favourite Walk: Walk at Lake Okataina to Koutu Pa
Koutu Pa is on a small peninsula jutting out into Lake Okataina, near Rotorua and clearly visible from the lake edge. It was a blustery day when we drove out to Lake Okataina. The wind was whipping up the Lake and there were many white caps.
However we donned coats on this cold windy day with the sun shining and set off on the walk to Koutu Pa.
The track was through thick natural virgin bush and very beautiful. The Lake was visible at points along the way. It was quite cool walking as it was difficult for the sun to break through the thick canopy.
Eventually after many stops to admire the native bush we made it to the perimeter of the Pa fence. This is a wire barricade erected to keep out animals.
The wooden sign is easy to read but difficult to see in a photograph. We climbed over the style and started the walk to the top of the Pa.
On the way up the hill there were various ancient Maori dugouts which made us think of the effort which must have gone into making these holes in the side of the hill. Along with the many dugouts there were signs of Kumera pits.
It was fascinating clambering to the top and exploring the site. The view of the Lake was amazing. We were pleased to keep to the leeward side out of the cold wind and this was very sheltered.
After some time we felt we were trespassing and decided to leave. If only the ground could talk!
We made the return trip through the bush to the car for a welcome lunch sitting in the sun and away from the wind.
Lake Okataina is one of the most picturesque lakes in the Rotorua district. It has many arms and is a great shape and surrounded by native bush right down to the water’s edge.
Above: right top White caps on Lake Okataina. Below left: The track to the pa wanders through bush. Below right: Two Maori dugouts from the past.