My Favourite Walk: Walk at Lake Okataina to Koutu Pa

Walking New Zealand - - Contents - Words by To­nia Perry Pho­tos by Ed­win Perry

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.

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