Rotomahana Isthmus Track

Rotomahana Isthmus Track

Lake Tarawera



6 Rankers Reviews

6 Face-to-Face

312 Walking

4 Tarawera



Time: 20 min one way, Distance: 1.2 km

The track links Lakes Tarawera and Rotomahana and is an integral part of Waimangu 'Round Trip'. Take the launch across Lake Rotomahana and walk across the Isthmus to Lake Tarawera where another launch delivers you to Tarawera Landing. This track is dominated by the majestic Mount Tarawera.

Lake Rotomahana was internationally famous for its spectacular Pink and White Terraces which were destroyed in the Mount Tarawera eruption of 1886. Steaming cliffs and silica terraces still remain as a feature of this lake.

The lake and surrounding margins are a wildlife refuge protecting many species of water fowl. The lake is closed to powerboats in May for the birds' breeding season.

Many rare ferns and orchids are found within the thermal areas.

Getting there
26 km south-east of Rotorua. Most visitors access Lake Rotomahana through Waimangu Volcanic Valley (Waimangu Rd, off SH 5). Visitors boating on Lake Tarawera often tie up at Rāpatu Bay and walk to Lake Rotomahana over the Isthmus Track.


Feature Value Info


North IslandRotorua RegionTarawera


  • Walking
  • Free



Isabel's avatar



Ranking: 10/10

Easy hike on the top of Mt Isthmus where you can see both lakes: Lake Wanaka and Lake Hawea, it is really worth it. Not many hikers on the way.

Reviewed almost 4 years ago and experienced in April 2016

Conservation Campsite Pass

Save up to 70% on campsite fees! Support conservation and experience the natural beauty of NZ. 78 Department of Conservation campsites, one convenient pass.

Get the Pass

Milan Maiwald's avatar

Milan Maiwald


Ranking: 9/10

The walk is not as long as some other mountain tracks. Some challenging parts, but okay. Awesome view down to the lake!

Reviewed about 4 years ago and experienced in March 2016

Top Ranked NZ Deals Pass

Access savings worth hundreds of $$ on Top Ranked NZ Accommodation and Activities for just $1 per day.

Get deals pass

Nico's avatar



Ranking: 7/10

Gorgeous lake with volcanoes in the background and some hotpools at the shore.

Reviewed about 4 years ago and experienced in January 2016

Thank You - to the thousands of travellers that have contributed to our Top Voted NZ Activities Map - it's free from Rankers.

Francois Pierre's avatar

Francois Pierre


Ranking: 8/10

Good track with beautiful views of Lake Hawea and Lake Wanaka on the top.

Reviewed over 4 years ago and experienced in October 2015

Camping NZ App Icon

Camping NZ App

Every camping site on your iPhone™, iPad™ or Android™ phone or tablet. Avoid camping penalties using this council approved app. Featuring offline maps.

Download from the App Store Download Android app on Google Play

Svenja Trubenbach's avatar

Svenja Trubenbach


Ranking: 9/10

Nice views, great variety of landscapes.

Reviewed over 5 years ago and experienced in March 2014

Henrik Bours's avatar

Henrik Bours


Ranking: 9/10

Brilliant views also during the track, very easy to walk (almost a road) which is also a negative.

Reviewed over 5 years ago and experienced in March 2014