Get off the beaten track – adventures for over 65s
Age is but a number and just because you’re over 65 doesn’t mean life has to slow down. Why not try something new and get off the beaten track to see some of these hidden gems?
1. Yellow Track in the Redwoods Forest, Rotorua
Walk the 8km loop starting and finishing from the Redwoods information centre and be rewarded with the best views Rotorua has to offer. There are several coloured walks based form here, but Yellow is the best as it takes you to Pohutara Trig and stands over the Pohutu Geyser in Te Puia but it also has an amazing view over Rotorua, it’s Lake and the Ngongotaha Maunga. There is a bonus of lovely of the single track lined with native forest.
2. Roto Pounamu
This lake is amazing and is only accessible by walking. It’s located 20 minutes to the west of Turangi on the highway to National Park. It has a scenic 2km walk and if you have the energy, it’s anotherr 5km to walk around the entire lake. The entire area is surrounded by a thick native forest.
3. Explore the mighty Sandstone Cliffs on the Rangitikei River, by raft
The Lower Canyons of the Rangitikei River are the most stunning of them all. You can raft through the class 1 and 2 rapids and see the towering sandstone cliffs in the deep river gorges between Utiku to Mangaweka. Mangaweka Adventure Company offer guided rafting tours through several sections ranging from, 1 hour to 4 days in duration. There’s also great, well priced camping around that area too…
4. Tarawera Hot Pools
Here’s an absolute gem for those with all levels of adventure. The hot pools are in a bay down the southern end of Lake Tarawera, near where the Isthmus trail connects Rotomahana. The hot pools are formed by a hot creek coming into the lake and you can arrange a circle of rocks to build your hot pool. Kick back and relax after a long walk, or use the boat taxi service to get out and be as fresh as daisy. Spend the day soaking in the atmosphere of the lake and Mt Tarawera. Boat taxi services are offered by Totally Tarawera.
5. Tarawera Falls, the hidden jewel of the Bay of Plenty
Tucked away deep in the commercial pine forests near Kawerau. The Tarawera River slowly saunters out of the lake, but within 5 km it starts to steepen up and descends over waterfalls until all the water disappears underground. When it reappears, it launches itself out from a hole in a cliff and descends 50-metres into the steep bouldery river below. To get there, you need a permit from the Kawerau I site, it only costs a couple of bucks. From the Isite there’s a 20-minute drive that is well sign posted, through the forest. When you get to the car park, it’s a 1km walk along with the crystal clear waters to an amazing lookout spot. Truly a must-do in the Bay.
6. Rotorua Canopy Tours
Explore every layer of an ancient native forest on this unforgettable nature experience! You’ll see unique flora & fauna from the forest floor right up to above the canopy that is 1,000’s of years old. Two experienced guides are with you the whole way to do all the hard stuff for you. They’ll make sure everything runs smoothly, keep you safe and tell you all about how you’re contributing to preserving this magical forest. Check out Rotorua Canopy Tours here.