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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Supervolcanic trail details

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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
  • Cycling & Mountain Biking

    Tongariro Mountain Bikes

    Southern Lake Taupo has some of the best mountain bike country in New Zealand. We know trails that ride through stunning scenery, immersing you in native forest and along side magnificent rivers full of trout and can be relaxing or challenging.

    $65 - $299
  • Custom transfers

    Mangakino Shuttle Service

    Enjoy the Beautiful Scenery of the famous Waikato River Trail as you Bike or walk in an ever-changing, Breathtaking landscape, for just a few hours, or travel more of the trail over 2 to 5 days. Shuttle, Bike Hire and accommodation available.

    $20 - $60
  • Cycling & Mountain Biking

    Taupo Kayaking Adventures - Bike Tours & Bike Hire

    Biking with Taupo Kayak Adventures is not the only way to enjoy the stunning scenery the Great Lake Taupo region has to offer. Join our professional guides on our many bike trails. We have an unguided option which includes bike hire and shuttle.

    $100 - $400
  • Cycling & Mountain Biking

    FourB - Timber Trail All Inclusive Package

    Timber Trail 2-day all inclusive package. One night in Taupo, one night in the Timber Trail Lodge, meals and luggage transfers ex Taupo.

    $649 - $799 Book now
  • Cycling & Mountain Biking

    FourB - Waihaha -Shuttle, Boat & Bike hire Package

    The Great Lake Trail Waihaha-Waihora section Including return road transfer, scenic boat transfer and bike hire to enjoy one of the best one day trails in the North Island. Some previous trail riding is important as it is an intermediate trail.

    $295 - $325 Book now
  • Airport shuttles

    FourB - Great Lake Trails Shuttles

    Shuttle transfers for all sections of the Great Lake Trails in Taupo including booking the water taxi transfer from the Waihaha section in the Western Bays of Lake Taupo.

    $45 - $150 Book now
  • Cycling & Mountain Biking

    Tree Trunk Gorge Guided Mountain Bike

    This is a short but beautiful track that weaves its way through native forest and includes a short steep climb, a picturesque river ford and some wooden bridges. This is an intermediate trail with lots of fun to be had.

    $115 Book now
  • Activities & tours

    Camp Epic - Timber Trail Shuttles, Hire, Glamping

    Shuttles, bike/ebike hire and glamping accommodation on the Timber Trail - one of New Zealand's Great Rides.

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