W2K Section, Great Lake Trail

The W2K section of the Great Lake Trail provides great views across Lake Taupo and back down towards Kinloch, one of the most beautiful lakeside villages in the country. The native bush creates a feeling of being far from civilisation, despite the fact that this is the most accessible section of the Great Lake Trail.

W2K Key Information :

Distance 13km + optional 9.5km for the Headland Loop Track
Grade 3
Time Required  2.5 - 3.5 hours cycling, 6 hours walking
Phone Coverage  Intermittent
Toilets At start and end of the section
Shuttle Park your vehicle in Kinloch and arrange for your shuttle to pick you up at the end of the track at Whakaipo Bay.
Water Taxi Pre-booked boat transfer available from Whakaipo Bay and Kinloch. Bookings are essential. 


Interactive Google Map :

Click on the icons of this Google Map below to view more information about the W2K section of the Great Lake Trail such as start and end points and lookout spots.

W2K Section of the Great Lake Trail

 Click here for the full map.

W2K Section Profile


W2K Section Description:

At the Kinloch Domain you will find a shelter with a map and bike washdown area. Start riding the W2K section of the Great Lake Trail from here. Follow the markers around the marina, along the lakefront and then up a gully to Boojum Dell. The W2K trail heads up the hill from here, climbing steadily up through native bush and onto the headland, providing spectacular views across Lake Taupo to the mountains of Tongariro National Park as well as back down to Kinloch. Once on top of the headland the trail starts a long, flowing descent down to Whakaipo Bay.

Headland Loop (optional)

From this point at the top of the headland, there is the optional Headland Loop, a 9.5 km trail that follows the top of the Whangamata Bluffs out to the end of the headland then back around the other side to the point at which you started. There are more stunning views to be had from this trail out towards the Kaimanawa Ranges, the Karangahape Cliffs and Tongariro National Park to the south. There is also a short lookout trail off this loop that offers views of Kinloch and Whangamata Bay.

From the Headland Loop junction, head on down the long, flowing descent through the bush to Whakaipo Bay. This beautiful bay is a very popular swimming and picnic spot with its crystal clear water and wide open spaces. 

If you are travelling in a self contained vehicle, overnight stays are allowed at the Whakaipo Bay Recreation Reserve. There is a maximum stay of 4 nights in any single calendar month. Toilets are available at the reserve and a fire ban is in place all year round.

Car parking is available at both ends of the trail, or you can arrange for a shuttle to pick you up if you don’t want to ride the return trip.


Getting to the W2K Section:

From Taupo, drive 21 km to the Kinloch Domain in Kinloch village (next door to the Kinloch Store and Tipsy Trout Café). You can leave your car here or arrange to be dropped off by a shuttle. Make sure you arrange for your pick up at the other side of the trail. 




Towering volcanic rock cliffs, spectacular views and a waterfall hidden deep in the Waihaha Valley are highlights of the Waihaha section


Ride across boardwalks, past waterfalls and over ravines as the trail makes its way down towards the lake shore


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the riding the Great Lake Trail

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