• Lake Tarawera Hot Water Beach Campground

Hot Water Beach Campground

Located on the shores of beautiful Te Rata Bay on the southern arm of Lake Tarawera and complete with its own natural hot springs, Hot Water Beach campground is one of Rotorua’s secret gems and one of New Zealand’s most unique and beautiful campsites.

Surrounded by lush bush, with views of the lake and mountain, as well as steaming thermal waters in parts, the campsite is naturally formed and popular with locals and visitors alike.

Accessible only by boat or on foot via the Tarawera Trail the campground is at the end of the Tarawera Trail. This Trail is a 15km, one-way day hike, taking moderately fit walkers approximately 5-6 hours to complete. The Trail winds through stunning native bush and past expansive lake views. Direct water taxi transport to Hot Water Beach campsite from The Landing is available from Totally Tarawera. You can also organize to have your camping gear transported to the campsite if you would like a lighter load to hike with.

There are 30 pegged campsites of various sizes, as well as toilet facilities, and a sheltered space for cooking.

Please view the site map, and book online via our calendar below.

Adults: $13 per night
Child (5-17 years): $6.50 per night
Infant (0-4 years): Free

Click here to organize Water Taxi transport with Totally Tarawera.

Know before you go:

  • Hot Water Beach Campsite is accessible only via water taxi, boat or on foot via the Tarawera Trail
  • There is no fresh running water available
  • Water from the lake must be boiled for drinking
  • As this is DOC land, please note no dogs are permitted in areas administered by DOC in the Rotorua area
  • Fires are not permitted at any time
  • Sheltered cooking space has a preparation table: You’ll need to bring all your own equipment
  • Gas or thermal cookers only
  • The Tarawera Trail takes moderately fit walkers between 4-5 hours to walk
  • Zero tolerance for excessive alcohol
  • No generators allowed
  • Sound travels at night – Please show your consideration to other campers – no excessive noise after 10pm
  • Please show our host a printed or electronic copy of your booking confirmation on arrival

For more information or to book for a large group, please contact our Booking Team.

Walking the Tarawera Trail

Te Rata Bay and the campsite itself is at the end of the Tarawera Trail, a point-to-point walk that begins just off Tarawera Road at Te Wairoa, around 15 minutes from Rotorua City. The Trail itself represents the return of the people to their land after the devastation of the 1886 Mount Tarawera eruption, celebrating the Tarawera region as the birthplace of tourism in New Zealand.
Winding through lush native bush, over streams and past stunning lake views, the trail is well-formed and requires a medium level of fitness. It showcases many of the hallmarks of the Central North Island – beautiful forests, native birds and geothermal elements – and also traverses a place of utmost importance to New Zealand history.

Bathing in the natural hot springs at Hot Water Beach after completing the trail is a real highlight, as is camping beside the lake itself.

Ensure you book the water taxi to take you from Hot Water Beach campsite to The Landing ahead of time – in the summer months it can get very busy.

  • "A unique way to see Maori culture combined with geothermal activities. The place is beautiful."
    Xinhui Y, via TripAdvisor
  • "A perfect way to introduce visitors to Tikanga Maori. Powerful and impressive."
    TotsiensVal, via TripAdvisor
  • "Our guide's knowledge of her people and stories made the tour very educational and inspiring."
    TripReview 777, via TripAdvisor