Orakau Trail (Great Lake Trails)

The Orakau Trail is a nice gradual downhill which takes you through stunning native wetlands before dropping you into the secluded Kawakawa Bay.

The Orakau Trail, part of the Kawakawa Section, as it gracefully descends through lush native wetlands and leads you to the tranquil Kawakawa Bay. This scenic trail offers a gradual downhill ride, perfect for enjoying the surrounding beauty and serene destination.

Trail Stats and Map

  • Distance
    9.3 Km
  • Time
    1.5 hrs Cycling | 3 hrs Walking
  • Ability
    Grade 3 | Intermediate
  • Trail Type
    Forrest | Pumice | Shared use

Elevation

The Orakau Trail features a gentle downhill slope through native wetlands, leading to secluded Kawakawa Bay. Enjoy minimal climbs and serene descents as you navigate boardwalks and lush terrain, ending with breathtaking lakeside views.

Elevation

Elevation | 388m

Climb | 4.7km

Descent | 2.9km

Flat |1.7km


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Riding the Orakau Trail

At the Orakau carpark (20-minute drive from Kinloch), you will find a shelter with a map, information board and a toilet. From here, the trail follows the beautifully clear Orakau Stream thorugh regenerating native bush and past Harakakeke (native flax) wetlands down towards Kawakawa Bay. You will ride across boardwalks, past waterfalls and over ravines as the trail makes its way down towards the lake shore.

This trail is a dream to ride with the generally downhill profile of the first half lending itself to beautifully laid out corners and berms, giving it incredible flow. The trail boasts some stunning scenery and native birdlife – tuis and bellbirds in particular – and there are seats along the way at the best vantage points, so you can rest your legs while taking in the view.

As you near the beach at Kawakawa Bay you will cross two bridges that span some really deep ravines. It’s worth stopping and peering over the sides as the ravines are quite spectacular. After 10.25 km you will emerge onto the beach at the stunning Kawakawa Bay. There are views across the lake to the mountains of Tongariro National Park, and during summer this is the perfect place for a swim in the clear blue waters of Lake Taupō.

A shelter and campsite lies in a clearing at Kawakawa Bay, and you will often see rock climbers here. There is a long drop toilet available but no cooking facilities on site. Please bring your own tent and light no fires.

During summer, Kawakawa Bay is also frequented by boaties and walkers who have come over from Kinloch, so please remember this is a two way track if you are riding over to Kinloch

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Explore the Supervolcanic Great Lake Trails

Whether you're exploring the Orakau Trail or looking for more forest routes of the Great Lake Trails, the Taupō region offers unforgettable rides amidst the supervolcanic landscapes and lush wilderness. With over 65 individual trails and more than 330 kilometers of riding paths, your adventure through this biking paradise is sure to be exhilarating and memorable.

Other Kawakawa Section Links Other Great Lake Rides

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Bike shuttles, guides & tours

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  • Cycling & Mountain Biking

    Overnight e-Bike Adventures

    Join us for the ultimate private mountain e-biking adventure in the Central North Island and stay in a luxurious remote lodge for the night. You will experience a truly private, wilderness adventure, with your very own on-site accommodation and host.

    $595 Book now
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    Chris Jolly Outdoors - Guided Biking

    Take a tour of the Biking Capital of New Zealand with Chris Jolly Outdoors. Lake Taupo offers some of the most stunning scenic bike trails, and a guided bike tour is the perfect way to enjoy the experience.

    $1 - $1,800 Book now
  • Ferries & water taxis

    Taxicat Adventures - Ultimate Great Lake Trails Bike Transfer

    Taxicat offers a unique water taxi transfer service for the Great Lake Trails.

    $65 - $86
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    Huka River Trail Guided Geothermal E-bike Tour

    Enjoy a scenic e-bike tour and learn about our breathtaking Huka Falls, the mighty crystal clear Waikato River, Aratiatia Dam & Rapids. Finish with a ride past an incredible geothermal stream in Wairakei. (previous MTB experience is good).

    $299 - $399 Book now
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    Supervolcanic - Waihaha - Road and Boat Transfer Package

    Got your own bike? Supervolcanic. Ride the Epic Waihaha section of the Great lake Trail with this transfer package from Kinloch.

    $149 - $159 Book now
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    Taupo Kayaking Adventures - Bike Tours & Bike Hire

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    $100 - $400
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    Taupo Kayaking Adventures Bike & Kayak Combo Tours

    Why not combine your mountain biking and kayaking trip into one fun adventure packed day? Enjoy the stunning scenery Great Lake Taupo and its surrounding area has on offer on both land and water.

    $120 - $510 Book now
  • Mountain biking

    FourB - Great Lake Trails 2-Day All Inclusive Package

    Part of the Super volcanic trail Network. Two nights B&B accommodation, meals and transport to mountain bike the Great Lake Trails over 2 days including the boat transfer from Waihaha on the first day and the K2K/W2K sections on the second day.

    $599 Book now
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    42 Traverse Guided E-Bike Ride

    Known as one of the best adventure mountain bike rides in New Zealand. A 46km Grade 3 guided mountain e-bike tour through the Tongariro Forest. The 42 Traverse takes you into sub-alpine New Zealand with beautiful views of the surrounding mountains.

    $299 Book now
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