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. the trail is generally 1.2m wide with a benched surface however the surface can include obstacles such as rocks, roots and ruts. These are mostly rideable or avoidable however some riders may wish to walk when they encounter them.

For more information about trail grades check out

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 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 

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.                                                                    From $70pp
Kinloch - Orakau                                                                                   From $50pp
Taupō - Whakaipo Bay                                                                          From $45pp
Taupō - Kinloch                                                                                     From $60pp
Taupō - Orakau                                                                                      From $60pp
Whakaipo Bay - Kinloch/Orakau                                                          From $65pp
Whakaipo Bay - Waihaha Bridge                                                          From $80pp 
Taupo - Waihaha Bridge, Kinloch -Taupo                                             From $140pp
Taupo - Waihaha Bridge, Whakaipo - Taupo                                        From $125pp
For packages to Waihaha Bridge incl boat from Kotukutuku - Kinloch or Kawakawa Bay see our Deals page

Minimum numbers may apply to our service. Above prices are based on 3 person bookings. We can carry up to a maximum of 8 passengers. Payment is by bank credit, cash or Eftpos/credit card on invoice. Credit card charges apply.

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 is available from the end of the Waihora Section at Kotukutuku to Kinloch or Kawakawa Bay. To book your boat service contact [email protected] and we will tell you more. Numbers are limited to 8 passengers and mountain bikes per trip.

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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