The history of this volcanic area with its stunning scenery, fresh clean rivers and the largest fresh water lake in Australasia, combined with the region’s strong Maori culture, make for one of the most interesting places on Earth to hike. No other location in New Zealand has a greater abundance of scenic walks to enjoy. Hiking is a particular passion of your hosts. Please ask Garth & Angie which walks would best suit your fitness level and time available.

Some recommendations include

  • The Great Lake Trail including the Whakaipo Bay, Kawakawa Bay and Waihaha Sections
  • Pureora Forest Park's Timber Trail. This forms part of Nga Haerenga, the New Zealand Cycle Trail and Te Araroa, the New Zealand Walking Trail. It is loaded with history, scenery and ecology.
  • Tongariro National Park – Dual World Heritage Site. The walks here include the world famous Tongariro Alpine Crossing, the Tongariro Northern Circuit, one of New Zealand's Great Walks, and the Round the Mountain tramp, a 5 day challenging hike around Mt Ruapehu for fitter, more adventurous hikers. These walks can be broken up into smaller sections if time is limited. There are also numerous other day hikes and short walks, from 1 hour to 6-7 hours duration, that can be undertaken. Learn more by visiting Adventure Shuttles
  • Off-the-beaten track hikes in the Whirinaki, and Kaimanawa Forest Parks can be tailored to suit if you are looking for some real adventure. These areas contain some of New Zealands best virgin, podocarp forest and wild rivers. However you will need good fitness and back country skills for these trails.
  • Pureora Forest Park tracks to Waihaha and Bog Inn Huts meander through virgin podocarp forest and are home to some of New Zealand's endangered birdlife, including the North Island Kokako.
  • Short walks include the Lake Front Lions Walk from Taupo to Wharewaka and further if you like.Drive out west and hike to the majestic 60m high Kahikatea trees of Waihora Lagoon, the 1800 year old Pouakani Totara, the worlds largest. Why not meander along the Waikato River from Spa Park to Huka Falls and beyond and then finish with a dip in the thermal stream near Spa Park.
  • Visit Opepe Reserve 14 km along the Napier-Taupo Road. See ancient Rimu and Totara Trees. Visit an historic cemetery and learn the story of the Colonial Armed Constabulary and Maori freedom fighter Te Kooti.

There is something for everyone.

Our sister business, Adventure Shuttles, can get you to your trail head while your own car is parked safely and securely at Whakaipo Lodge. Adventure Shuttles runs small all wheel drive vehicles highly suited to some of the rougher road conditions that you may encounter getting to your trail head. Check out Adventure Shuttles for more information including maps and photos.