Tapahoro (Tarawera Outlet) Campground

Tapahoro (Tarawera Outlet), a reserve at the eastern end of Lake Tarawera, is a place of historical significance to Ngāti Rangitihi. Te Mana has recently signed a management agreement with  The Department of Conservation and taken over campground management. As Ngāti Rangitihi we encourage you to experience the campground which was once a long-term residence of the iwi and is now such a vital part of our heritage.


The campground fronts on to the eastern shore of Lake Tarawera. There are 50 camp sites available on a first come first served basis with payment made at the collection box or to the Campground Manager. You cannot book in advance (schools and educational groups are an exception). Campers are expected to be familiar with the Campground Rules which help ensure you have a safe and enjoyable stay.    

H6a Tarawera Campsite.JPGFacilities include

  • Water from tap
  • Toilets
  • Showers
  • Picnic table
  • Shelter for cooking
  • Boat Ramp
  • Jetty


  • Adult (18+ years): $13.00 per night
  • Child (5 - 17 years): $6.50 per night
  • Infant (0 - 4 years): free​
  • Schools and other educational groups are discounted by 30% - see below


Tapahoro is one of the access points to the Lake Tarawera Scenic Reserve which contains many recreation and cultural sites including Tarawera Orchard and Humphries Bay. A bridge links the campground to several tracks including tracks to Lake Okataina and the Tarwera Falls.

Trout fishing and water sports on the lake are popular in the summer time. Fly fishing season is 1 October - 31 May. You can apply for a fishing licence through the Te Arawa Lakes Trust from 1 September each year by registering with the Trust and completing a Register of Interest form.  Successful applicants will get a 50% subsidy from the Trust (or no charge if 65 years or over).

School and Education Group Visits

School and other education groups can book campsites at Tapahoro. It is a beautiful environment which offers schools a great camping experience along with a range of activities including bush walks and kayaking – if kayaks have been brought by your school.

Fees for educational groups are discounted by 30% to:
•Adults $7.00 per night
•Students $3.50 per night

You can download your booking form here. If you have queries about educational visits, contact Dougal Stewart at 0800AKATEA or dougal.stewart@ngatirangitihi.iwi.nz.

Getting There

You can access Tapahoro from Kawerau township (off SH 30 between Rotorua and Whakatane) via private forestry roads if you have an access permit (see below). The forest gate is closed during the hours of darkness. The forest road may be closed in summer when fire risk is high

You can also access the campground by boat. There are a number of concessionaires that run either boat or helicopter transport around the Rotorua Lakes area, creating a variety of options for connecting trails or getting to/from campgrounds. View guides and tourism providers.

Access Permit

Access Permits to the Campground cost $5 per vehicle and can be picked up on the day of entering the forest from:

Kawerau Information Centre
Plunket St, Kawerau
Phone: +64 7 323 6300

Email: kawerauinfo@xtra.co.nz

(The Centre is open daily 9am - 4pm and 8am - 6pm from December 15 to January 29)

Application forms for access permits are also available on-line at KawerauOnline. Allow three business days to secure a permit by email.