Posts tagged easywalk
Lake Okataina Scenic Reserve: Te Auheke and Ngahopua Tracks

Access Te Auheke track (also known as the Cascade Falls) starts by the Lake Okataina Outdoor Education Centre on Okataina Rd, which turns off from SH 30 in Ruato. The track starts behind the Outdoor Education Centre hut - walk along the left fence line until you see the wooden marker post. You can also access the shorter Rongomai track just a few metres away. I started the walk wearing my gloves, so it’s good to bring warm gear (just in case) even if the sun is shining.

The track itself is relatively flat, and wide throughout. The only time it narrowed was closer to the falls itself where I had to walk over some larger rocks. I thought about trying out my new hiking boots here, and there were some sections with overgrown roots and muddy patches, but as it was mostly flat terrain, my regular walking shoes did the job just fine.

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The Whirinaki Falls Loop Track

The Whirinaki Te Pua-a-Tāne Conservation Park is a place of immense, natural beauty and I invite you to see it for yourself as you walk amongst the giants of the forest. Located near the village of Minginui, it’s about an hour and half from Whakatane, where I live.  

I have wanted to do this walk all Summer, and with Autumn’s shorter days, I didn’t want to leave it too much longer. It took me almost two hours drive just to get to the River Road car park, mainly because I didn’t want to risk a flat tyre in the pot holes on the gravel road. I’ve learned to add at least another 30 minutes to my driving time vs Google’s estimate, especially if there’s a gravel road along the way. If you’re experienced in back country road driving, this probably won’t affect you, but if you’re mainly an urban driver like me, you will want to keep this in mind. River Road is a single lane gravel road, so make sure to take extra care.

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The Onepu Wetlands Boardwalk and Lake

I have to tell you something, the Onepu Wetlands Boardwalk isn’t an Insta-ready location...yet. In fact, a lot of the track is currently overgrown. The trees and plants are still a fews years away from being fully grown so that we can truly appreciate the beauty of this area. If you’re a mountain bike rider, you should also check out the Onepu Community Mountain Bike Park which is in the same area. Many of the tracks are multi-use, including horses and walkers/runners.

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The Gravel Road That Leads To Tarawera Falls

I drive an early 2000 Toyota Avensis, which isn't the best kind of car to drive on a gravel road. There were potholes that made me wonder if I would have a front bumper by the end of it,  and that is definitely something to consider when you go to visit the falls.

Before you head out to the falls, make sure to get your forest road permit from the Kawerau i-Site. It’s $5 per car, and the guy gave me a week long pass (at no extra cost) in case I wanted to go back the following weekend. With the scorcher of a summer we’re having at the moment, it’s a beautiful place to cool off! There are instructions on the permit, and there are signs along the way.

 

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Exploring Lake Tikitapu and Lake Rotokakahi

Lake Tikitapu (Blue Lake) and Lake Rotokakahi (Green Lake) are one of four smaller lakes between Lake Rotorua and Lake Tarawera. The other two are Lake Okareka and Lake Okataina. I have been to three of the four now (the other being Lake Okataina), though lakes Tikitapu and Rotokakahi are pretty special in my books. Access to Lake Okareka is on the same road as the blue and green lakes, so you can easily do these three in one day.

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Whitepine Bush Scenic Reserve

Whitepine Bush Scenic Reserve is a beautiful Kahikatea Forest and just a 15 minute drive out of Whakatane on SH2. It’s a 250m loop track nestled in native NZ bush and would be an ideal walk for families with young kids, or bird watching enthusiasts. Two weekends in a row with great weather meant no excuse to stay indoors, and although it’s a short walk, I spent a good hour walking around taking photos.

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A Morning Walk At Latham's Track

A couple of weeks ago I saw a picture of my friend Taryn on top of Latham’s Track and I knew straight away that I had to do it. My friend Taryn said the track itself is a loop, but the path which leads to the hot pools is much steeper. The path does run on private farmland, and even though there are plenty of roots, the track itself is well maintained.

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The Fairbrother Loop Walk

The Ngatapuwae o Toi is a loop track from Whakatane to Ohope. This morning I walked the Fairbrother Loop Walk at Ohope Beach. They say the walk should take about an hour and half, and that’s taking it easy. There were some steeper uphill sections, but if you powered through it I say you can do it in an hour. I was alone for most of the time - the track was also a bit muddy as we’ve had quite a bit of rain over the last few days. I can see this track being busier in the summer.

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Craters of the Moon

Taupo is a geothermal wonderland - though I could picture Craters of the Moon literally once being a large paddock until developers realised people would pay money to walk in this paddock. You could say it was the perfect place to be on a cold winter’s day - after ten minutes of walking I was breaking into a sweat and by the time I reached the lookout, I wished I was wearing shorts.

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