A walk on the Rotorua lake walkway

A walk on the Rotorua lake walkway

Rotorua lake walkway

Featured in the 202 great walks book, is the walk along the city on the Rotorua lake walkway, also called the Hatupatu drive.

202 Great Walks

One of the best walks to do in the city of course, and that can be done for free, during the day, as the path is not enlighted at night.

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Sulphur point and laughing gas pools

Starting from the government gardens, simply walk towards the lake until you'll find the Hatupatu drive, and follow it in direction of the lake largest side, on the North.

Quickly reaching the Sulphur point wildlife sanctuary, this is when the walk starts to be really interesting, as it will happen along these beautiful protected birds that are bordering the lake.

However, before reaching the zone where the wildlife likes to spend its time, it is necessary to walk along the sulphur area, which does not allow for much life around - but shows a lot of steam coming from the volcanic ground.

These gas pools are actually called laughing gas pools - not because they are funny! But because sniffing the gas emitted by the pool has a similar effect as the dentist's laughing gas, and can cause dangerous consequences, such as fainting, which could lead to drowning if it happens while bathing in one of the pools.

Walking on the Hatupatu drive walk

Just like about anywhere around Rotorua, the scenery is beautiful all around.

After a while, the wildlife will start to appear in the middle of the lake, as we are getting away from the sulphur part.

The further away from the sulphur part of the lake, the more birds are visible.

At this point of the walk, most of them are anyway out of reach, on the lake. But this changes fast as we go further North along the walkway.

Approaching the lake wildlife

Suddenly, after a turn, there are hundreds of birds all around, of all kind!

None of them are agressive, but it can seem impressive, and will for sure scare away anybody with a fear of birds!

Nevertheless, the vision is beautiful, and the birds are not minding us walking among them.

Hatupatu Dr Car Park and Scenic Point

Continuing with the walk, I see for the first time in my life a black swan.

This majestic creature is actually been fed breadcrumbs by some tourists that are also going along the walkway.

After the next turn, surprise, there are actually a lot of these beautiful black swans in the lake!

Some of these black swans are coming closer to the shore, but most of them are enjoying their time on the lake without minding any passerby.

Getting out of Hatupatu drive

After having reached the end of Hatupatu drive, there is a pedestrian path going in the wild along the lake, which will lead back to the city and the piers.

The path goes in the trees, and makes us feel like we are not near any city anymore. When it clears out, it allows for nice walks on the sand along the lake, and beautiful scenic views.

The view on the lake is amazing, but there are less and birds to see on the lake.

Rotorua piers

Just after getting out of the forst like path, a beautiful moment is visible next to the walkway.

A huge wood carved Maori boat is on display, and there are so many details to see all along!

Getting closer to the piers, the birds are back, as some tourists are actually feeding them nearby to try to take some good pictures with them.

The magnificent black swans do not hesitate to come closer to the groups of tourists, and seem very happy to get food so easily.

All in all, a very pleasant walk, which definitely deserves to be featured in books like "202 great walks", and relatively short, not taking more than 2 hours.

202 Great Walks
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