Located in the Bay of Plenty region
The 1886 eruption of Mount Tarawera drastically changed the area around the Lake Tarawera Scenic Reserve.
Public jetties are at Tarawera Landing, Tarawera Outlet, Boatshed Bay and Rāpatu Bay.Boat ramps are at Tarawera Landing, Boatshed Bay, Stony Point and a beach boat ramp at Tarawera Outlet. Public toilets are provided at most boating access points and camping areas, and at the Waterfall Road carpark.
Picnic areas are numerous. They include a beautiful spot beside the Tarawera River, 100 metres back along Waterfall Road from the carpark.
There are two access points to the Lake Tarawera Scenic Reserve.
Direct driving access into Tarawera Forest, Falls, and fishing is from Kawerau township (off SH30 between Rotorua and Whakatane) via private forestry roads which require permits, purchased from the Kawerau i-SITE. The forest gate is closed during the hours of darkness. The forest road may be closed in summer when fire risk is high.
Public (non-permit) access to the rock paintings, Tarawera Trail, and water taxi is from the Tarawera Landing, a 17.5 km drive south of Rotorua accessible by following Tarawera Road off SH30. Te Rātā/Hot Water Beach is accessible by the 16 km Tarawera Trail or by water taxis that shuttle visitors across the lake frequently from the Landing. The rock paintings are a short walk from the Landing carpark. Lake Rotomahana and Lake Tarawera are linked by the Isthmus Track, accessible through either Waimangu Volcanic Valley (Waimangu Road, off SH5) at Lake Rotomahana or Rāpatu Bay at Lake Tarawera.
You'll need to get a permit to access Tarawera Falls and Tarawera Outlet. Use of the private forestry roads including overnight parking in the forest is at the discretion of the forestry owners. Check the conditions of your forestry permit.
You can also order it from the local visitor centre.
Kawerau i-SITE Visitor Information Centre
Plunket Street, Kawerau 3127
Phone: +64 7 323 6300
Opening hours for Kawerau i-SITE Visitor Information Centre
Dogs, horses, vehicles including bikes and motorbikes, fires, removal of plants or animals, camping outside designated areas and hunting without a permit are not permitted.
Use gas cookers.
Koi carp Image: Dave West
Report any sightings of koi carp (3-70 cm) or catfish (3-40 cm). Other fish of particular concern are rudd and gambusia.
You can help by photographing any specimens caught and forwarding to your local DOC office and by following Check Clean Dry protocols.
Invasive species are a problem because they reduce water quality and can compete with native species and trout.
For further information, or to report suspicious fish, contact your local DOC office or phone 0800 DOC HOT (0800 362 468)
Discover the History of Lake Tarawera Scenic Reserve.