Western Bays Epic Full Day package is without a doubt for the truly adventurous and requires a good level of fitness to enjoy the day to its fullest. And what away to experience the spectacular scenery from the Great New Zealand Cycle Trail (and where else in the world do you get to ride down a waterfall?) and see phenomenal views of the stunning Lake Taupo region by water.
In one day, you will enjoy an amazing 3 – 4 hour mountain-bike ride and a 3.5 to 4 hours kayaking on the crystal clear waters of Lake Taupo.
You will meet us at our base in Acacia Bay, where we will load your bike then set off by road to the Waihaha section of the Great Lake Trail to begin your riding leg of the Waihaha and Waihora sections of the Great Lake Trail down to Kotukutuku Steam.
From the Waihaha River Carpark, you will follow the trail down the river to a swing bridge.
After you’ve crossed the river you will start climbing gently up onto the cliffs above, following the course of the river to the sign that marks the start of the Waihora trail junction. This trail has breath taking views of the Waihaha River canyon and waterfall (a must see hidden gem of the Western Bays of Great Lake Taupo). It is surrounded by lush native bush including Tanekaha (Celery Pine) which is endemic to this region of the North Island. You will also see large outcrops of ancient volcanic rocks along the trail.
From the midpoint the scenery is amazing, it’s not just about taking photos. This is a challenging ride with many climbs and switch-backs but you will get to ride some of the best flowing downhills you have ever experienced as the trail allows you to free roll around sweeping corners and bends at top speed. Feel the flow! As you descend towards the lake, you will reach a unique engineering feat of bridges, platforms and boardwalks that will take you over the Kotukutuku Waterfall and out onto the beach at the beautiful and peaceful Kotukutuku Landing (a tranquil bay). Where else in the world do you get to ride down a waterfall?!
A fascinating fact is that while this trail was being built, the trail builders found that the rocks closest to the lake were a lot harder to blast than those further up. People say this is because the rocks closer to the lake were heated to a much higher temperature as they were closest to the heat source of the great Oruanui eruption of 1600AD, causing them to form into harder rocks when they cooled.