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Towering volcanic rock cliffs, spectacular views and a waterfall hidden deep in the Waihaha Valley are highlights of the Waihaha section.
The Waihaha Section of the Great Lake Trails is the most remote, so be prepared for an early start. It’s 40 minutes’ drive or shuttle from Kinloch and is the longest of the three sections. The ride starts from the Waihaha River Bridge and has been built with flowing corners, fun downhills, and some short switchback climbs to keep you honest, but your efforts will be rewarded with postcard-worthy lookouts along the way. Towering volcanic rock cliffs, spectacular views and a waterfall hidden deep in the Waihaha Valley are among some of the highlights on this section of the trail.
The final part of the ride drops you down past the sacred Kotukutuku Falls to the remote aquamarine waters of Waihora beach. This is the perfect spot for a swim as you wait for your water taxi to pick you up.
It is important to plan ahead as the remote nature of this section requires both a shuttle to the start, and a water taxi from Waihora Bay back to Kinloch. Pack plenty of food and water and take your time to enjoy all the stunning sights and sounds along the way. Be sure to stop at Echo Rock where you could be tricked into thinking you’re underneath a waterfall.
The start of the trail is 40-minutes drive from Kinloch. The trail and carpark is well sign-posted off Western Bay Road (4478-4184 Western Bay Road, SH32).
We recommend parking your car at the Kinloch Domain and arranging a shuttle to the start of the track. It is important to plan ahead as the remote nature of this section requires a water taxi from the end of the trail at Waihora Bay back to Kinloch. If you are keen to ride further, you can arrange for the water taxi to drop you at Kawakawa Bay to ride the second half of the Kawakawa Section of the Great Lake Trails back to Kinloch. Please book ahead.
|Time||4-5 hours cycling | 7.5 hours walking|
|Direction||The trail can be ridden in both directions, however we recommend riding west to east|
|Access, transport & guides||Please arrange for your shuttle to drop you off at the start of the Waihaha section at 4478-4184 Western Bay Road, Waihaha and for a water taxi to pick you up at the end of the track.|
|Water taxi||Yes (from trail end to Kinloch). Book water taxi prior to departure.|
|Dog access||Yes, dogs allowed|
|Trails nearby||Whakaipo Section and Kawakawa Section of the Great Lake Trails|
The Great Lake Trails are proud to be part of Ngā Haerenga - The New Zealand Cycle Trails network.
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Part of the Waihaha Section of the Great Lake Trails, the Waihaha Trail starts at the Waihaha River carpark and follows the Waihaha River towards Lake Taupo.More info
Ride amongst vast stands of Kamahi, through volcanic rock formations and past the intriguing Echo Rock before you start to descend down the Kotukutuku Stream.More info