Te Rata

November Special

Te Rata

Lake Tarawera, near Rotorua

With the access to this stunning lake-edge glamping site by boat or 4-hour hike only - Te Rata is one of the most off-the-beaten-path campsites in our collection.

Set on Department of Conservation (DOC) land, on the edge of Lake Tarawera, Te Rata is a very special place. It's right in the very heart of the thermal Rotorua district. Steam rises sleepily from the lake edge - the result of a hot thermal spring trickling into the water. The sand on part of Hot Water Beach heats up to 86 degrees - hot enough to cook a meal 'hangi-style' beneath the surface.

Trail blazers and all-round lovely couple, David and Karen of 'Totally Tarawera', are the owners and operators of Te Rata. They are the first people in New Zealand to apply for and gain a concession for glamping on DOC land. 

Te Rata campsite itself is set next to a DOC campground, but is separated from the neighbouring campsite by a small hill, natural rocks and bush - creating a private space. It consists of one large tent with a queen-sized bed, tastefully decorated with touches of Maori design. A camp kitchen, dining area and camp bathroom are set a short distance from the tents, providing everything you need for comfortable camping. While Te Rata is nicely separate from the neighbouring DOC campsite, it is best suited to those that aren't looking for complete seclusion. There will be others enjoying the beach and thermal springs nearby.

If you are looking for a more private lakeside retreat - David and Karen also have a second luxury campsite on the lake edge, Kanuka. Kanuka is situated on very special Maori land, a one and a half hour walk from the Te Rata site and is completely secluded.

FROM $295 p/n

scenic water taxi included

  • Sleeps 2
  • Specials

Check Availability & Book

Check Availability & Book

Your hosts, David and Karen, have two campsites on Lake Tarawera - Te Rata and Kanuka. They also run the Totally Tarawera water taxi service which ferries guests to and from the campsites. Make sure you download or print this handy info sheet with directions to water taxi and host contact details prior to your journey. You may not have mobile reception at all times.

address

Water taxi departure point: Mariners House, Tarawera Road, Lake Tarawera, Rotorua 3076

directions

The Landing is a 20 minute drive from the centre of Rotorua. Google Maps gives accurate directions to The Landing. 

Te Rata

Te Rata Location

What this is check in and check out?

WHAT ARE THE BED AND BEDDING ARRANGEMENTS?

WHAT ARE THE KITCHEN AND COOKING FACILITIES?

WHAT ARE THE BATHROOM FACILITIES?

IS THERE POWER?

IS THERE MOBILE PHONE RECEPTION?

WHAT SORT OF HEATING IS THERE?

IS Te Rata CHILD-FRIENDLY?

CAN I BRING MY DOG?

HOW PRIVATE AND REMOTE IS THE CAMPSITE?

HOW DO I GET THERE AND WHERE DO I PARK MY CAR?

CAN I HAVE A CAMPFIRE?

WHAT DO I NEED TO BRING?

ARE THERE ANY SAFETY CONSIDERATIONS?

CAN I BOOK FOR A ONE NIGHT ONLY?

MINIMUM STAY PERIODS

RATES

GIFT VOUCHERS

1. Booking and payments

2. Cancellation and severe weather warnings

3. Safety and Hazards

4. Pets

5. GST

6. The Holiday – Guest Conditions of occupancy and Conduct

7. Authority to Sign

  • Eating and Drinking

    Te Rata is self-catering. You'll need to bring your own food and cook meals using the BBQ and cooking rings provided in your private camp kitchen. You'll find all the cutlery, crockery, pots and pans that you'll need as well as environmentally-friendly detergents and basic condiments such as salt and pepper. Remember, once you're there, it's either a boat ride or a four hour walk back to The Landing, so make sure you're thorough - and bring all the supplies you'll need.

    Have a go at cooking in the geothermal hot water and sand of Hot Water Beach! Try some recipes in the Totally Tarawera cookbook - designed especially for cooking this way. This is available in Te Rata kitchen or emailed to you on request if you would like it before you come.

    The best place to stop for groceries on your way to Te Rata, would be the Countdown or Pak N' Save supermarkets, located near the centre of Rotorua. Closer to the lake, at the turn off to the Blue Lake and Lake Tarawera (Te Ngae roundabout) is the Redwood Centre. It has a good range food stores including any pharmacy requirements.

  • Things To Do

    There's plenty to occupy you during your stay at Te Rata! Explore the lake edge on the canoe, discovering untouched bays and magical hot pools. Walk part of the Tarawera Trail. You'll pass historic sites and past settlements, cross spring-fed streams, and see magnificent rata and pohutakawa trees and groves of giant mamaku ferns.

    One of the highlights of Te Rata is cooking under the sand of Hot Water Beach. Use some of the recipes from Te Rata's very own cookbook - designed especially for cooking this way. 

    As evening falls, enjoy a soak in the heated water of the lake or the hot pool along the trail. Take a night wander from the campsite to the nearby glow worm grotto - 5 minutes from the site. At the end of it all, tuck up in the comfortable bed to the gentle sound of the waves on the shore.

  • Your Hosts

    Tarawera translates to “a very special place” - and that’s what it is to Karen and David and the many visitors who visit.

    Karen is a descendent of Tuhourangi Ngati Wahiao. She now lives on the same lands that her tupuna (ancestors) lived on for 600 years before the arrival of the Pakeha. Her surviving descendants left the area after the devastation caused by the Mt Tarawera eruption, 130 years ago. Destroyed at the same time were the world famous Pink and White Silica Terraces reputed to have been the “Eighth Wonder of the World.”

    Karen is passionately involved with her tribe, but also very much enjoys sharing the lake and surrounds with visitors and guests.

    David is a fifth generation New Zealander whose family stems from the far north of New Zealand. The time up he spent up north, fostered his love of the sea, and his passion for the care of the land. While his career has been in the design field, you're more likely to encounter him sharing local stories while operating their Eco Discovery Cultural & Geothermal Tour on the lake, restoration and maintenance of their 100 year old lake boat, and of course fly-fishing for rainbow trout.

    Another interest for Karen and David is in the preservation and improvement of the environment of Tarawera, through animal and plant pest control, planting and DOC support programmes.