Gems

Rotorua Eastern Lakes

Rotorua Eastern Lakes

Defined by a series of volcanic lakes, the area that forms the Rotorua Eastern Lakes Virtually on Track gem is the home of adventure tourism in New Zealand. From the 1880s onwards, visitors made the intrepid journey across Lake Tarawera by waka to marvel at the geothermal wonders of the Pink and White Terraces. Now long buried under ash and Whakarewarewa’s forest of exotic trees - known as one of the world’s leading mountainbike destinations - this is nonetheless still a rich playground for anyone who likes their sports to have a...

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McLaren Falls & Lower Kaimai

McLaren Falls & Lower Kaimai

The McLaren Falls and Lower Kaimai Virtually on Track gem is a surprising mix of new and old, of the natural and the manmade, and of the tranquil and seriously wild. The Gem is built around two main features; the manmade lake at McLaren Falls Park and the Wairoa River which was dammed to make it. While the river retains some of its wild character below the falls, it’s the power scheme that dictates the terms in this Tauranga area playground. When the spillway is opened, the river’s water escapes from Lake McLaren as a raging...

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Kawerau & Tarawera

Kawerau & Tarawera

The Tarawera River, threading its way from its lake outlet past Onepu to the coast, defines the Kawerau and Tarawera Virtually on Track gem. Clouds of steam and the volcanic peak of Putauaki (Mt Edgecumbe) which overlook the river are signs of the energy -  a vast dump of underground steam – that flows through this valley. It’s a mix that has provided the area with a wealth of opportunities to play outdoors always with a stunning new vista just around the corner. At the Lake Tarawera end, bush tracks and navigable waterways...

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Opotiki & Motu

Opotiki & Motu

The Opotiki and Motu Virtually on Track gem is a diverse playground stretching from coast to hills, across dunes and down mountain valleys, and along turbulent rivers into a placid harbour. The options here are classic do-it-yourself with the wilderness on the doorstep and activities as intrepid as you want to make them, from a gentle ocean beach stroll to a rapid-strewn kayak plunge down the Waioeka River. Starting in Opotiki township, this Virtually on Track gem is a broad sweep east of town to the end of the Dunes cycleway at Waiaua, up...

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TECT All Terrain Park

TECT All Terrain Park

With rich examples of native forest at either side, and a large, recreation-focussed estate sandwiched in the middle, the Otanewainuku and Kaharoa Corridor Virtually on Track gem straddles the hinterland between Tauranga and Rotorua. Both native forest areas boast a treasure of rare and endangered birds supported by active community groups. They are quieter places that reward a visitor who appreciates how New Zealand used to be. Active community groups are also the go at TECT All Terrain Park, but here it’s “Go!” with the...

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