Gems

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...

Read More >
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...

Read More >
Waihi Beach & Coastline

Waihi Beach & Coastline

Waihi Beach and Coastline is another of the coastal Virtually on Track gems, this one being defined by nine kilometres of sweeping white sand stretched between a pair of picturesque play areas. On its inland side, this gem takes in coastal forest to the north around Orokawa Bay then arcs southward to enclose Black Hill near Waihi township and the Athenree wetland before reaching Bowentown on the edge of Tauranga Harbour. With the mix of dead flat beach and undulating coastal tracks and trails, this Gem caters strongly for walking, and trail...

Read More >
Whakatane & Ohiwa Harbour

Whakatane & Ohiwa Harbour

Whakatane and Ohiwa Harbour Virtually on Track Gem is a sparkling landscape of ocean and harbour, dense with sporting opportunity from foot to cycling and paddling, cradled by the headlands of Whakatane to the west and Onekawa to the east. Heading east from the lazy Whakatane River, a bird flying over the gem first encounters the bush clad hills of the headlands which tower over the town and then yield to Ohope Beach. These were among the earliest places inhabited by Maori and today, thanks to community efforts, hold a significant population...

Read More >
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...

Read More >