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Great Lake Trail Loop, Waikato

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Great Lake Trail LoopBeginner

Submitted by Mike Tennent

Info Info
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Trail Information







Front country - easily accessible


Undulating, some big hills

Native bush
Plantation/exotic forest
Open ridges/tops


4:30 (Slow)
3:30 (Moderate)
2:45 (Fast)



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Departing from the carpark, take the trail that runs parallel to the road (on the left of the carpark as you drove in). This will eventually end at a road. Follow the road for about 750m until you see the trail sign on the left hand side. From there on this trail is 100% single trail - it is shared with bikes though so be aware.

After about 10km you will come to an intersection, you can go left to Kinloch if you need coffee, otherwise turn right here and head to Kawakawa Bay. There is a nice wee climb in this section and a great stopping viewpoint.

At Kawakawa Bay you will probably meet up with copious numbers of campers as it's very popular, especially with rock-climbers. It is also the only point of the loop where you come in contact with the lake. Once you leave the bay, the trail traverses along parallel to the shore for roughly 3km before starting the long and gradual climb back up to the carpark. This section passes some excellent wetland.

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Features of interest

Great views over Lake Taupo. Plenty of birdlife.

Make Up of Run

Untracked / Route only: 0%

Technical Single Track: 0%

Moderate Single Track: 22%

Easy Single Track: 75%

Farm Road / 4WD Track: 0%

Gravel Road: 0%

Sealed Road: 3%

Route Data


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Overlapping Runs

The following trails overlap with this run to some degree. You may wish to combine them but please note that to qualify for FKTs on these runs you should record a separate Strava activity for each

Orahau To Kinloch

Orahau To Kinloch

Length: 17.00km

O2K Roller

O2K Roller

Length: 22.00km


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Wild Explorers

I did it!
  • Access

    Put Orakau Car Park in Google Maps and it will take you there, otherwise put 1568 Whangamata Road, Marotiri... which will get you there.

    Sizable carpark with toilets

    27 km

    21 minutes



  • Staying Safe



    Long-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Gloves, Beanie/thermal headwear, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Survival blanket, Cellphone, Map.

    Nothing for the first 10km or so.... after that there are scattered streams, although not always easy to get to.

    Well prepared trail to pretty much Great Walk standard, so good throughout the year.

    Nothing much other than mountain bikes

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