CAMPING THE KIWI WAY
UNITING NZ CAMPERS
Te Rātā Bay, Lake Tarawera
We started our trip leaving Wellington at 4am sharp. The journey was great, avoiding all holiday traffic, and we made short work of the 5-hour drive towing our jetski up to Lake Tarawera.
We transferred our camping gear into our ski and welcomed our friends from South Africa who joined us for Easter as we helped get everyone on the water safely. What we could not fit on the skis we had the local water taxi service bring over to our camping spot. This is a well-run service, and their friendly helpful approach makes it fun.
We left the ramp at 11am and had flat water all the way, arriving to the beauty that is Te Rātā Bay (Hot Water Beach). We were the 1st to be at the DOC-run campground and had our tent and site set up within about an hour.
The facilities are great there with toilets and a kitchen area to use if needed. Planning is essential as there is no fresh running water there so you do need to take everything with you.
We spent the day watching families arrive and set up.
We went on walks and explored the area around the camp, which is full of walking tracks. We planned our evening meals to be cooked in the ground and loved putting them in each morning and were amazed by how great they were in the evenings.
The best part was the no-stress cooking approach. Our trip was full of swimming in the thermal-warmed water around the lake, jetskiing, exploring, meeting fellow family campers, fishing, diving, hiking, watching sunsets and relaxing in the great outdoors.
We highly recommend this as a spot to visit — its affordable and jam-packed with things to do.
It’s an annual destination for our family now.
BY: Jono Collins
PHOTOS: ©2022 Jono Collins