Type of pathway: walking track
Grade of walk/ride: easy
Time to complete: 40min
Description/history: Lake Rotorangi Walkway loops the southern end of the longest man-made lake in New Zealand.
The walkway crosses the 82m high Patea dam and then heads past three totara carvings which were created by Patea carvers under the tutelage of Reverend Te Napi Waaka. They are Pou Tiaki, Rahui and a carved archway consisting of two amo (uprights) and two maihi (apex boards). A feature of the walkway is a grove of black beech or tawhairauriki, which flowers in a burst of brilliant red in October and November. The Lake Rotorangi Hydro Walk crosses the dam from the car park and enters a mixed podocarp and manuka forest. Travelling in an anticlockwise direction, the track sits above the shore line and leads around a peninsula.
On the northern side of the peninsula the track offers stunning views of the lake as it gradually climbs to a high point, before descending back to the dam. There are a number of seats on which to rest and enjoy the birds and bush as well as views of the lake and the downstream river.
Points of interest: Lake Rotorangi is the longest man-made lake in New Zealand at 46km and was created by the damming of the Patea River. The dam is constructed from 1.2 million cubic metres of sandstone and siltstone that abound in the area and was the first large dam to be constructed using these materials. The dam is 82m high, which made it the fourth highest dam in New Zealand at the time of its construction, and 160m across. Other points of interest are the Campground, boast ramp and lookout.
Dangers/warnings/things to be aware of: No cycling, dogs allowed
Type of footwear required: sturdy walking shoes
How to get there: Starts at the end of Rotorangi Rd, Pātea, (take Ball Rd off SH3, 8km north of Pātea).