Rotorua Branch

We are always looking for new members to join our Branch activities. For more information on any of the activities below please email Gary Gower, the Branch Secretary by clicking here.

Upcoming activities:

Branch AGM and Celebration - Sunday 22 June from 3pm

We will start the day with a tree planting beside the Ngongotaha Stream to commemorate YHA NZ 80th Anniversary.

Please meet at 3pm at Elliot Park (the Children's Park) on Western Road

Once the tree is planted we will head to St Barnabas Church Hall (School Road) for a cuppa and catch up.

This will be followed at 4pm by the Branch AGM. Please ensure you bring your YHA membership card with you so you can vote during the meeting.

We expect the AGM will be finished around 5.30pm and will then have a shared pot luck dinner.

We hope to see as many of you at this event as possible. For further information please contact the Gower's

Amanda and Gary Gower
Phone 07 348 8252

Recent Events

May 2014 - Open Meeting

In early May the Rotorua Branch held a meeting and invited YHA members or potential YHA members from their local area to come along and find out more about them as a Branch.

The get-together went really well, a shame that so many of the local branch were away, but we still had a good afternoon.  

Amanda spoke about YHA NZ, our Branch and of the activities that we are involved in, assisted by Gary. Denise from YHA National Office supplied us with posters, maps, and copies of YHA member trips, National AGM’s, and Member Weekends.

The YHA had a special of 50% off 1 year memberships which new members were able to take advantage of - Pauline & Bruce Kingston (ROT), and Carol Fields (AK) - welcome to YHA, and hopefully will have 2-4 more new members as well by the end of the week.

Discussion for suggestions of things to do:

80th YHA tree planting.
We have a tree and will be planting it very soon along the Ngongotaha stream native tree planting, only have to get the plaque  done and set a date to plant our tree.

A YHA branch weekend away, suggestion – Ohope Beach.

T.E.C.T.  Park– for a lunch and bush walk.
This park is halfway between Rotorua and Tauranga Direct Road, and a beautiful place for a walk.

We look forward to seeing you all again with us. Enjoyed a social time together followed by a lovely afternoon tea
Amanda Gower
Rotorua YHA Branch Chair


On a mellow afternoon in late April a group of 11 YHA members from Rotorua and 4 from Tauranga met up at an out-of -the way location at Mangakino on the shore of Lake Maraetai.  The attraction that brought us to this apparent backwater was the opportunity of a two hour cruise aboard a paddle steamer on this man-made lake.

We were greeted with sunshine, plus the sights of a surprisingly placid lake, a café, signs indicating walking and cycling trails along the lake edge, and numerous cyclists out to enjoy a fine afternoon.

As we ate our lunches the paddle steamer, Otunui, churned into view and tied up at the dock.

Getting ready to embark we were told of a delay due to a mechanical fault so the walkers among us went off to explore. When the repair time extended to two hours most of the group were forced to postpone their excursion until another opportunity.

For those of us able to wait we were rewarded with a pleasant journey up the lake and into the gorge, with views of farmland and pines giving way to steep cliffs and overhanging, mostly native trees, on bush clad banks. 

We were entertained with a commentary on the filling of the lake and the contrast between the previous river levels and land formation prior to the construction of the Whakamaru hydro dam and the sights that greeted us.  The bird life increased in numbers and variety as we ventured further into the gorge.  With the face of the dam wall across the narrow top end of the lake the steamer was manoeuvred about for a faster trip return trip downstream.  Our late start meant that those of us who’d planned to walk the trail back to our cars at the lakeside domain opted to stay on the boat instead, enjoying the late afternoon sun.

So some of us are keen to return to walk or cycle the trials, while the rest of the group plan another expedition to Lake Maraetai for the cruise they missed.