The Tapahoro campground is located on a reserve at the eastern end of Lake Tarawera, and is a place of historical significance to Ngāti Rangitihi. The campground is managed by Te Mana, and as Ngāti Rangitihi we encourage you to experience the area which was once a long-term residence of the iwi and is now a vital part of our heritage.
The campground fronts the eastern shore of Lake Tarawera. There are 50 campsites available on a first-come-first-served basis with payment made at the collection box or to the Campground Manager. Booking cannot be made in advance other than by schools or education groups.
- Tap water
- Picnic table
- Shelter for cooking
- Boat Ramp
- Adult (18+ years): $13.00 per night
- Child (5 – 17 years): $6.50 per night
- Infant (0 – 4 years): free
Schools and other educational groups are discounted by 30% (details below)
Getting there – Driving
You can access Tapahoro from Kawerau township (off SH 30 between Rotorua and Whakatane) via private forestry roads if you have an access permit (see below). The forest gate is closed during the hours of darkness. The forest road may be closed in summer when fire risk is high.
Access Permits to the Campground cost $5 per vehicle and can be picked up on the day of entering the forest from:
Kawerau Information Centre
Plunket St, Kawerau
Phone: +64 7 323 6300
NB: The Centre is open daily 9am – 4pm and 8am – 6pm from December 15 to January 29
Application forms for access permits are also available online at KawerauOnline. Allow three business days to secure a permit by email.
Getting There – Boat
You can also access the campground by boat. There are a number of concessionaires that run either boat or helicopter transport around the Rotorua Lakes area, creating a variety of options for connecting trails or getting to/from campgrounds. View guides and tourism providers
Tapahoro is one of the access points to the Lake Tarawera Scenic Reserve which contains many recreation and cultural sites including Tarawera Orchard and Humphries Bay. A bridge links the campground to several tracks including tracks to Lake Okataina and the Tarawera Falls.
Trout fishing and water sports on the lake are popular in the summer. Fly fishing season is 1 October – 31 May and you can apply for a fishing license through the Te Arawa Lakes Trust from 1 September each year by registering with the Trust and completing a Register of Interest form. Successful applicants will get a 50% subsidy from the Trust (or no charge if aged 65 years and over).
School and Education Group Visits
School and other education groups can book campsites at Tapahoro. It is a beautiful environment which offers a great camping experience along with a range of activities including bush walks and kayaking (please note, schools will need to bring their own kayaks).
Fees for educational groups are discounted by 30%.