Pathway of Fire (Te Ara Ahi) is a two day, 74km cycle trail from Rotorua to the Orakei Korako thermal area on the Waikato River.
It is an easy ride suitable for all levels of riders.
Best time to ride is in the summer months between November and April. Having said that there are plenty of warm water attractions and natural hot pools in the area to make an autumn and winter ride an option too.
The Pathway of Fire Trail takes you through some of the most unique geothermal sites in the world, in fact four significant geothermal fields – Whakarewarewa, Waimangu, Waiotapu, and Orakei Korako. Each of these thermal areas has unique geothermal features, rare flora and fauna and is rich with Maori history and folklore.
The first day will take you past Whakarewarewa thermal reserve located next to Te Puia and the Whakarewarewa village which has existed for over 700 years and where families of the survivors of the Tarawera eruption now live.
Then onto Green Lake (Rotokakahi) picnic area, Waimangu Volcanic Valley and Waiotapu Thermal Wonderland where you can spend the first night. There are accommodation options here.
Day two takes you into the Waikite Valley, past the Waikite Hot Pools and Te Manaroa Spring, the largest source of 100% pure boiling water in New Zealand.
From here you will head south along the Paeroa Range and past the Te Kopia Geothermal Field and scenic reserve.
The trail finishes at Lake Ohakuri where you can choose to either take a shuttle back to Rotorua or take a short optional boat trip to complete their journey.
Other unique features along the trail include Lake Okaro restoration project (re-established wetland), Rainbow Mountain, Kerosene Creek. All of the geothermal areas are well established with a wide range of amenities such as cafes, souvenir shops, toilets and bike storage facilities.