The Great Lake Trail

The Great Lake Trail is one of the 22 Great Rides that make up the New Zealand Cycle Trail, Nga Haerenga.

Comprising the W2K (14km), Headland (9.5km), K2K (9.5km), Otaketake (12km), Orakau (10km) and the Waihaha-Waihora (30km) Trails it is located on the north western shore of Lake Taupō, New Zealand’s largest lake. 

The trail offers all-weather single track through native forest, where you can enjoy dramatic and stunning views across Lake Taupō to Tongariro National Park. It is a great step up for beginners looking for the next challenge. The Orakau section can be tackled by experienced cyclists looking to crank a mountain bike for the first time.

BIG HINT: Although the Great Lake Trail is a two way trail, it is best ridden from West to East as this is generally more downhill with easier climbing grades. Even if parts of the trail have cellphone coverage, the western sections are remote and we recommend carrying a personal locator beacon for emergencies, which can be hired from Adventure Shuttles.

Riders have the option of riding the full trail over 2-3 days or to select a range of shorter riding options depending on level of experience and the time available. The Great Lake Trail can be ridden in all seasons. The track’s pumice surface means that even in wet weather, there is normally little or no mud on the trail.

The trail is graded intermediate or grade 3 for most sections although some sections are suitable for riders moving from beginner to intermediate grade. The Orakau - Kawakawa Bay section would fall into this category. Although the climb out of Kawakawa bay is steep it can be walked easily and then it is a nice downhill to Kinloch. 


Great Lake Trail Map - Click here to open

For detailed maps check out 


COVID-19: Note that restrictions may affect vehicle loadings. Please contact us for pricing confirmation. 

Prices below are for one way travel in either direction to or from the road ends below. Please discuss options for return trips with us.

Prices for The Great Lake Trail 

Kinloch - Waihaha Bridge $65pp
Kinloch - Orakau $45pp
Taupō - Whakaipo Bay $45pp
Taupō - Kinloch $45pp
Taupō - Orakau $45pp
Whakaipo Bay - Kinloch/Orakau $45pp
Taupo - Waihaha Bridge $65pp
Whakaipo Bay - Waihaha Bridge $65pp 
Taupo - Waihaha Bridge, Kinloch-Taupo $110pp
Taupo - Waihaha Bridge , Whakaipo - Taupo $110pp

Minimum numbers may apply for our service. We can carry up to a maximum of 8 passengers. Payment is by cash or Eftpos/credit card. Cancellations within 48 hours of trip are non-refundable and will be fully charged. We reserve the right to cancel trips due to adverse weather affecting track or lake safety.

All pricing or quotes are subject to availability at time of booking confirmation. We require payment in full or credit card details to confirm a booking. Pricing is subject to change without notice.

A boat ferry is available from the end of the Waihora Section to Kinloch or Kawakawa Bay. To book your boat service contact [email protected].

Check out Luxury Biking Package with Whakaipo Lodge & the Great Lake Trail for an awesome deal.

Contact us to book or enquire about The Great Lake Trail!


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