The Opepe Bush Historic Reserve, which is a short drive from Taupō, has scenic bush walks to explore.
The Opepe Bush Historic Reserve bisects the Napier Taupō Highway (SH5). There are carparks on both sides of the road.
The southern walking track is a 3 km loop walk. I did the northern walking track, which is a 30 minute, 1.5 km loop bush walk. The walk leads through mature podocarp forest, which are rare in the Taupō region because these forests were destroyed by the Taupō eruption, fires and milling.
Opepe is most noted as a site of an attack in the 1869 New Zealand Land Wars. On June 7th 1869 members of Te Kooti’s party attacked the Bay of Plenty Cavalry, who were camped there. 5 of the 14 members of the cavalry escaped. The nine soldiers that were killed are buried here. Later residents of Opepe and the Armed Constabulary are also buried here. It is a 10 minute return walk to the cemetery.
Opepe Bush Historic Reserve is located on the Napier Taupō Highway (SH5), 17 km from Taupō.