Search This Blog

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Lake Tarawera Outlet and Tarawera Falls, North Island, New Zealand

In January we went to Lake Tarawera Outlet in New Zealand. This beautiful area has a large DOC (Department of Conservation) campground and is the starting point for the Tarawera Outlet to (Tarawera) Falls Track.
Lake Tarawera Outlet, looking west over LakeTarawera

Lake Tarawera Outlet, looking north. 
The Lake Tarawera Outlet Campsite has 50 tent sites, tap water, toilets, a cooking shelter, picnic tables and a boat ramp. Dogs are permitted on leash. It is $6 per adult and $3 for 5 to 17 year olds, per night. No bookings are taken. There is also a permit required to access the forestry road to the campsite which costs $5. Tickets are purchased at Kawerau Information Centre, Plunket Street, Kawerau. Kawerau is about 55 km east of Rotorua and the drive is very scenic. 

Lake Rotoma, between Rotorua and Kawerau.

Be sure to get directions and a map to Lake Tarawera Outlet Campsite from the Kawerau Information Centre because Goggle Maps lists the campground as only 1.6 km away which is not the case. The campground is on the eastern shore of Lake Tarawera, approximately 25 km from Kawerau by good gravel roads. The forestry gate is closed at night and during times of high fire danger.

Kawerau, looking at Mount Edgecumbe.
Forestry Road to Lake Tarawera Outlet (looking back towards Mt Edgecumbe).
A footbridge links the campground to the Tarawera Outlet to (Tarawera) Falls Track. The track is 3.5 km one way with an estimated time of 2 hours. Turn right after the bridge. This section of Tarawera River is a designated Trout Spawning Sanctuary.

Looking west from the bridge over Tarawera River to Lake Tarawera.

Footbridge over Tarawera River, looking back at the Campground and Mount Tarawera.

Looking east from the bridge over Tarawera River.

The walking track mostly follows the river which is unbelievably clear and beautiful. 

Tarawera River
A short section of the track is over a dry volcanic plain.

Dry volcanic section of the track.

Then the track returns to follow Tarawera River.

Tarawera River

The Cascades, Tarawera River.
We didn't have a birding camera with us but we did manage to get a photo of a gorgeous Tomtit; a bird we don't have in Australia.

We turned around where the track descends steeply down to the waterfall and returned to the campground. Later in the day we drove to the Tarawera Falls carpark and walked the short distance to the base of the falls where there is a viewing area and seats. 

The walk to Tarawera Falls from the carpark.

Tarawera Falls is the most stunning waterfall we have ever seen. This photo simply does not do it justice. The water gushes out of the rock face in several places and the noise is incredible.

Tarawera Falls

In all out travels, the Tarawera area would have to rate as one of the most beautiful places we have ever seen.

No comments:

Post a Comment