Kawerau & Tarawera

Kayaking/ Canoeing

Lake Tarawera/Tarawera Outlet

A 25 minute drive from Kawerau is the Tarawera Outlet. This is a popular place for camping, fishing, walking and all sorts of watersports including kayaking.  For those keen kayakers, from the outlet you can reach Hot Water beach, a natural underwater hot spring on the shores of Lake Tarawera. Access to Tarawera Outlet is from Kawerau township via private forestry roads which require a permit. Permits cost $5 and must be collected from Kawerau Information Centre on the day of entering the forest roads.

Kawerau Information Centre, Plunket St, Kawerau
Phone: 07 323 6300
Email: kawerauinfo@xtra.co.nz
Open daily 9am - 4pm (8am - 6pm from December 15 to January 29)
Permits are also available online: http://www.kawerauonline.co.nz/permits/request

Tarawera River

The Tarawera River passes right by the township of Kawerau and offers good grade 2 & 3 rapids.  If you’re not an expert, start at the bottom where the rapids are easier, and then move upriver as your skills improve. There are several access points which makes portage easy.  A permanent whitewater slalom course can be found on the Waterhouse St Reserve off River Rd. Upstream of the rapids near town there is flat water that is good for multisport training or just to cruise about.  The best place to launch is at Roy Western Park at the end of Porritt Drive in Kawerau. The river moves fairly swiftly in places, but there are no rapids. An experienced paddler can go around 40 minutes upstream, 20 minutes return.  A permit ($5 from Kawerau Information Centre) is required to enter the forest and access the upper reaches of the river.

Kawerau Information Centre, Plunket St, Kawerau
Phone: 07 323 6300
Email: kawerauinfo@xtra.co.nz
Open daily 9am - 4pm (8am - 6pm from December 15 to January 29)

Onepu Community Recreation Park

Lake Tamurenui at the eastern side of the Onepu Community Recreation Park offers a small sheltered location for beginner kayakers. Access the water’s edge at any convenient spot alongside the maimais.