Great Lake Trail, Taupo

4.9
#2 of 6 in Trails in Taupo District
Imagine extensive native bush, dramatic snow capped mountains, serene lake views, powerful waterfalls and lyrical bird song, just some of the delights to be enjoyed. The trail follows the western shore of beautiful Lake Taupō, Australasia’s largest fresh water lake and takes in the stunning views across the water to the majestic volcanic mountains of the Tongariro National Park, a dual World Heritage area. Many of western areas on Lake Taupō are only accessible by the Great Lake Trail so it is a gem for those seeking peace and tranquility.

There are two parts to the Great Lake Trail - a 30 km section on the western side of Lake Taupo and a 41 km section on the northern side of the lake. Riders have the option of riding the full trail over 2 – 3 days or opt for a range of shorter rides depending on their level of experience and the time available. If you're walking, it's going to take longer... The trail can be used year round as the free draining pumice soil surface means that even in wet weather there is normally little or no mud. Winter is a great time as the air is crisp and clear and the mountains look incredible. You may even see the steam rising from the volcanic activity at the Te Maari Crater on Mt Tongariro.

The Great Lake Trail is part of Nga Haerenga, the New Zealand Cycle Trail (NZCT) network. Nga Haerenga means 'the journeys’, both in a physical and spiritual sense, which is what you will experience on the Great Lake Trail. It has been built and is maintained by Bike Taupō, a cycling advocacy group who are also skilled track builders. Bike Taupō’s MTB tracks are well renown and were recently accredited by the International Mountain Bike Association (IMBA) as a Silver Ride Centre, the first in NZ. This confirms our MTB tracks are world class and we're proud of them. They include the Craters MTB Park in the Wairakei Forest and the Upper Waikato River Trails which meander along the Waikato River to the famous Huka Falls and mesmerising Aratiatia Rapids.
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Great Lake Trail Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
59 reviews
TripAdvisor
  • This is a lovely walk that can be as short as you want or up to around 5 miles each way. At various points thermal streams enter the lake so the beach and water is warm. An enjoyable way to spend a fe...  more »
  • A really well done walk/run/cycle way. This trip we’ve walked it, run it and cycled it - fun on all fronts. Great ammenities and well maintained. Will be back with the dog next visit. If you can stay ...  more »
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