A friend and I have just experienced the pleasure of exploring a small portion of a recently opened Rotorua cycle track - Te Ara Ahi (Thermal by Bike). We left the Te Puia car park opposite Waiariki Polytech and followed the hills and valleys adjacent and below the SH5 Hemo Gorge. It is another gift alongside the many Whaka or Redwood Forest tracks for people to discover.
The difference is that we were walking, and it really was a delightful choice. We passed a good half hour or so choosing to wander down to view the picturesque stream or watch the shags nesting or explore the water pump houses from yesteryear. Large overhanging trees, punga and the fragrant fernery, along with the sound of white water from the stream, made this visit a real treat.
To quote Rotorua mayor Kevin Winters Nov 2012 - "Developing the cycleway has been an excellent partnership between the government and Rotorua District Council, with valuable support and cooperation from iwi, businesses and other individuals and organisations."
We want to add our congratulations and our thanks for the physical hard work and dedication to those people who crafted the walkway and took time to add steps up or down from the pathway. We live in Springfield so we can simply walk through the Tree Trust to reach this lovely track.
This trail joins the Whaka car park and entrance to a wide variety of great forest walks. We are so fortunate in our area to have access to this right on our doorstep!
We walked this track early on a weekday morning when cyclists are less likely to be using the path to avoid potential collisions with the same. We would perhaps recommend some signage to the effect that the track is designed for walkers and runners as well, given the stairs made for this purpose in pretty spots to the stream along the way.
The other interest we have is to know a little history of the water pump houses along the way - if anyone can help please?
2 happy casual walkers