Lake Tarawera, Rotorua

Kanuka, on Lake Tarawera in the Rotorua region, is accessed by water taxi or walking track only, making it one of the most off-the-beaten-path campsites in our collection.

Set on Maori land, in a mystery location on the lake edge, Kanuka is secluded and peaceful. Beautiful native bush surrounds the glamping site, with the large, comfortable tent enjoying direct access to the beach. 

The campsite consists of one large tent with a queen-sized bed. It's tastefully decorated and features elements of Maori design - beautiful natural materials and traditional flax weaving. A camp kitchen, dining area and camp bathroom are set a short distance from the tent, providing everything you need for comfortable camping.

A stay at Kanuka is something very special. The discrete lake-edge location, with towering pohutukawa trees, gives you the chance to really surround yourself in nature - and the magic of a truly amazing place.

FROM $340 p/n

scenic water taxi included

  • Sleeps 2



What time in check in and check out?







Can children stay at Kanuka?


Are kayaks provided?


How do I get there and WHERE DO I PARK MY CAR?

What is glamping like in Winter?

I want to walk to the hut... Does the nightly rate change?










3. Guest cancellations and date changes

4. Host Cancellations

5. safety and hazards

6. pets

7. GST

8. conditions of occupancy and conduct

9. Complaints

10. Liability

11. Gift vouchers

12. Law

13. Changes to booking conditions

14. Authority to sign

  • Eating and Drinking

    At Kanuka, you have the option of self-catering or you can order one of the Kanuka breakfast or dinner hampers.

    The breakfast hamper includes fresh fruit or berries accompanied by Helen's Homemade Muesli, orange juice, home baked wheaten bread for toast, with creamy butter and homemade preserves, four free range eggs ready for cooking with fresh local ham and tomatoes. Also includes fresh coffee grounds to make that special first cup.

    The dinner hamper includes organic, locally grown meat and vegetables. The main meal is accompanied by fresh salad greens and tomato salad, with a delicious home-made dessert slice and yoghurt. To finish is an 'Over the Moon’ (local cheese maker) cheese board. All accompanied by 2 bottles of crisp Kawakawa Beer.

    The camp kitchen has a BBQ and camp cooker for preparing either your own self-catering, or the meal hamper meals. 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. Once you're there, it's either a boat ride or a walk back to The Landing, so make sure you're thorough - and bring all the supplies you'll need!

    The best place to stop for groceries on your way to Kanuka, 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 which should include insect repellent.

  • Things To Do

    Your stay at Kanuka can be as relaxing or action packed as you want it to be.

    A beautiful, private, safe and sandy beach is 50m from your tent. Explore the lake edge on the two single kayaks provided, discovering untouched bays and magical natural springs. Or walk the Tarawera Trail to Hot Water Beach, a 1.5 hour walk from the site, to enjoy a soak in the warm thermal water at the lake edge. You'll pass historic sites, past settlements and cross spring-fed streams teaming with trout in the spawning season.

    When it's time to relax, grab a good book, jump in the hammock and take in the peaceful surrounds of a magical place. You are truly in touch with nature.

  • 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, true planting and DOC support programmes.


  • "

    What an absolute gem of a place to stay! Hidden from the world and every detail thought out perfectly. The hosts were so friendly, and it was a privilege to hear about the land and incredible work they have put into preserving and sharing this amazing part of NZ. Make sure to add in the meals! They are delicious and so generous! Easily one of our favourite getaways yet!


    - 02 May 2024

    1 / 12

  • "

    Beautiful and low-fi, the perfect spot to get away from it all!


    - 29 Apr 2024

    2 / 12

  • "

    We had the most amazing time. Fantastic location, amazing food hamper. Perfect if you want a quiet, uninterrupted escape.


    - 19 Apr 2024

    3 / 12

  • "

    My wife and I had a lovely stay at Kanuka on Lake Tarawera. The outlook from the beach was amazing. We had one boat stop at the other end of the beach for a short while, but apart from that, the beach was ours. The tent was large with a comfortable bed and very soft pillows. We slept very well. The kitchen and outside cooking area had all we needed for a comfortable stay, with a Weber BBQ, gas heater outside, and a gas hob and fridge inside. The bathroom had a shower that worked well and a large double-basin vanity. The toilet was an interesting setup, but we managed okay. Overall, it was a fantastic stay. I wish I had brought my boat as it would have opened up more activities.


    - 09 Apr 2024

    4 / 12

  • "

    This was a very peaceful place. A lot of thought had gone into making it comfortable. There were so many nice touches. These included the lovely carvings and painted tiles, beautiful smooth stones laid to walk on to the bathroom, and convenient heating and lighting - all discreetly in the bush so it did not spoil the beautiful bush setting.


    - 04 Apr 2024

    5 / 12

  • "

    We loved our stay at Kanuka. The peace and beauty of the setting, and the natural quirky appearance of the buildings were appreciated. Our hosts were delightful too. We highly recommend Kanuka to all glampers.


    - 20 Mar 2024

    6 / 12

  • "

    Had an awesome 2-night stay. What a great way to relax!


    - 22 Feb 2024

    7 / 12

  • "

    This place is pure magic, and at its heart is the family that created it and so kindly shares it. The design is thoughtful and creative, so every comfort has been considered while maintaining intimacy with the nature that surrounds it. It is steps from the lake where you can kayak and enjoy the black swans, a 75-minute walk through the bush to a glorious hot spring, and glow worms can be found at night just steps from the house. I HIGHLY recommend ordering the meals that Karen so artistically prepares. They are delivered by hamper and were a true highlight for us. Meeting Tracy, who captained the boat and gave us an oral history of her family and the land, was a memory that will forever stay with us. What a pleasure to meet you, Tracy! Thank you so much!


    - 14 Dec 2023

    8 / 12

  • "

    Magical spot. Perfect set up away from everyone with everything one needs. The bed was very comfortable, good shower, cooking set up was good. Amazing beach at the doorstep and not too difficult 1.5hr walk through beautiful bush to a secluded hot pool. We loved all the little features made from Kanuka and other recycled materials, very clever. Ten out of ten experience for us.


    - 03 Dec 2023

    9 / 12

  • "

    The best place to unwind and relax, soak up the good weather and wake up enchanted by the beautiful Lake Tarawera every morning. Thank you to Tracey and her whānau for hosting us!


    - 25 Oct 2023

    10 / 12

  • "

    Such a relaxing and peaceful location, and the most beautiful walking track to explore. The hosts were very knowledgeable about the surroundings and really accommodating.


    - 24 Oct 2023

    11 / 12

  • "

    Absolutely loved my stay at Kanuka. Beautiful trails and hikes, one also leads to secret hot springs! Kayaking around the lake was mesmerizing. Even in bad weather, this place was warm and cosy and exactly what you need. I've already got family booking it now!


    - 28 Sep 2023

    12 / 12

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