Waikaremoana Discovery Tour - 4 Day Lodge Based
The Waikaremoana Discovery Tour is a four day, all inclusive walking holiday exploring Te Urewera National Park in New Zealand, with a focus on short walks and maximum personal comfort.
The Te Urewera National Park includes the Waikaremoana area which shrouds an intriguing history: from intense geological processes; to tumultuous periods of fighting between pro & anti-government forces; to the untouched beauty and remoteness the area still enjoys. A multitude of short walks and attractions provide insights into its stormy history and vast wilderness.
The Waikaremoana Discovery Tour, one of our most popular North Island walking holidays, includes a scenic drive from Rotorua to Waikaremoana, three nights lodge-style accommodation in Waikaremoana, and four days of guided walks and sightseeing. Hiking equipment and all meals, snacks and refreshments are also included.
The itinerary is a basic outline. Flexibility enables groups to select from numerous walks and activities (kayaking, fishing, photography, & relaxing), thus ensuring everyone's abilities and interests are catered for. Your New Zealand hiking guides will enhance your journey by using their local knowledge to help select appropriate walks, provide company, interpret the features you encounter, and take care of all your meals, transport, accommodation and other logistics. With door-to-door return transport, this is the most comfortable and rewarding way to experience this isolated wilderness region.
- People of all ages and fitness levels can enjoy the Waikaremoana Discovery Tour
- The flexible nature of the tour caters for all levels of physical ability
- In some cases you will need to carry a small pack containing your lunch, drinking water and raincoat
- A vast network of walking trails of varying length and difficulty make this a New Zealand walking holiday paradise
- The itinerary is a basic outline
- Flexibility enables groups to select from numerous other walks and activities including kayaking, fishing and scenic boat cruises, thus ensuring everyone's abilities and interests are catered for
During the Waikaremoana Discovery Tour we stay in an old lodge (2 star), which is run by local iwi (Maori tribe). These character facilities are fairly basic but provide hot showers, comfortable beds and linen, kitchen facilities, and are located in a tranquil setting in a small Maori community. Rooms are twin share. Singles may be available on request. Bathrooms are shared between 2 or 3 rooms. World-class trout fishing is on offer in the lake at the front door step, with world record brown trout caught recently.
From the time you are picked up in Rotorua all your food and drinks are provided. Picnic lunches are made fresh daily and include delicious sandwiches, fresh fruit of your choice, and energy snacks to keep you sustained throughout the day. At most of the lunch stops you will also have the comfort of a hot or cold drink. After an exhilarating day outside you will have worked up an appetite. Scrumptious nibbles and pre-dinner drinks will greet you when you return to your accommodation. A hearty dinner follows: a traditional New Zealand main; seasonal vegetables or fresh garden salad; and no Kiwi meal would be complete without pudding (dessert), and tea or coffee. Enjoy a selection of NZ wines to purchase with your evening meals.
Breakfast offers a selection from fruit, cereal and toast, to a warm breakfast of bacon and eggs, pancakes or porridge. Just what you need to start a great day in the outdoors! Any special dietary requests or requirements are easily provided for. Please let us know at the time of booking and we will be more than happy to cater for your needs.
Guides & Safety:
Your safety is of paramount importance to us. Our guides are trained outdoor enthusiasts, who take pride in providing a safe, efficient and friendly service. All guides are trained in first aid, and carry first aid kits and emergency radios. Guides provide everything from a warming cup of tea or coffee to an evening briefing on the next day's walk. If circumstances require, your guides have the skills and expertise necessary to adapt your
day's walk to suit fitness, weather or track conditions. Your New Zealand guides will enhance your journey by using their local knowledge to help select appropriate walks, provide company, interpret the features you encounter, and take care of all your meals, transport, accommodation and other logistics.
It is essential to be well prepared when walking in New Zealand, as the weather can change rapidly. Although you may be walking in our summer season, rain, cold and wind can occur at any time of year. Lake Waikaremoana is located in a rainforest, so it is likely to rain for some of the time you spend there. We provide good raincoats and recommend wearing hiking boots so you will be comfortable in any weather conditions.
What to bring:
You do not need any specialist gear for this walk, except for a good pair of hiking boots or shoes, and some warm non-cotton clothing (polar fleece, polypropylene or wool). We lend good quality 40 litre backpacks, raincoats, sleeping bags, liners & pillows, or you can bring your own. A detailed equipment list will be supplied on confirmation of booking.
There are ample opportunities to try your luck at catching one of Lake Waikaremoana's elusive trout! Both spin and fly-fishing is allowed in Lake Waikaremoana. Fly-fishing only in the lake at the lodge. Please bring your own fishing gear. You must have a fishing license, which can be bought in Rotorua or at Waikaremoana.The Waikaremoana Discovery Tour was definitely the highlight of my trip to New Zealand. The country is spectacular and we wouldn't have found it on our own. Rob and Hilary were professional, competent guides as well as thoroughly enjoyable company. Their knowledge of the area and enthusiasm for sharing it added immeasurably to the experience.The trip was not too strenuous but provided adequate time for walking, swimming, beautiful sights and of course, cups of tea. I would recommend this journey for anyone interested in New Zealand 's incredible wilderness areas. - Denise Ernst - New Mexico
Highlights and Inclusions
We require a NZ $250 per person, non-refundable deposit to confirm a booking, with the balance due one month prior to trip departing. Please use our online booking form or phone us to make a reservation.
Cancellation Fees: 50% if cancelled between 30 and 8 days prior to departure. 100% if cancelled within 7 days of departure.
In the unlikely event that we cancel a trip before departure due to insufficient numbers, extreme weather conditions, or any other circumstance, a full refund of all payments will be given. We assume no responsibility for any injury, damage, loss or delay. We reserve the right to cancel or alter any trips and departure dates for any reason. We recommend that you take out travel insurance. This standard precaution does not reflect any likelihood of any incident occurring during your walk.
Waikaremoana Discovery Tour Itinerary
Day One - Rotorua to Lake Waikaremoana
- 4+ hours walking
Pick-up from your Rotorua accommodation approx 8am. A three-hour scenic drive follows ancient Maori trails into the heart of Te Urewera National Park and to Lake Waikaremoana. Stop in Whirinaki Forest for a 3-4 hour walk through the best example of NZ's native Podocarp forest. Towering trees including giant totara, kahikatea and matai, plus rare birdlife (kaka & whio: blue duck) as the trail follows a pristine river to a lovely waterfall. Enjoy a fresh picnic lunch before continuing on to Lake Waikaremoana, where a short walk leads through some remarkable forest, providing great examples to explain the intriguing story of the rata tree. Settle in to your accommodation and savour some pre-dinner drinks and nibbles on the lake-shore.
Day Two - Panekire Bluffs
- 3-7 hours walking (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Today's hike features some of the most spectacular views on the Lake Waikaremoana Great Walk Track. A 1 ½-hour steady climb leads up to the famous Panekire Bluffs, where dramatic rock ledges provide expansive views over Lake Waikaremoana, and the bush-clad looking for a challenge can continue climbing for a further 2 hours to reach the highest point of the Great Walk track, and the best viewpoint of the lake. Before dinner there will be an opportunity to visit a local marae for an informal chat with a local Maori elder about the region's history and culture. This is a great opportunity to ask questions and to get a real feel for the culture in this isolated area, where Maori is still the first language.
Day Three - Lake Waikareiti
- 4-6 hours walking
Take a picnic lunch and head up to the pristine Lake Waikareiti, which lies a further 300 metres above Lake Waikaremoana. Free of aquatic weeds and motorised boats, this lake has outstanding water clarity and is blissfully peaceful! Take a rowboat to one of the lake's pest-free islands, where a short walk leads to a tiny lake surrounded by lush forest and native birds. Returning to Waikaremoana after lunch you have the option of walking to a dazzlingly clear freshwater spring, or exploring the Onepoto Caves. After dinner there may be a chance to walk to a lookout to watch the sunset over the lake.
Day Four - Lake Waikaremoana to Rotorua
- 2-4 hours walking
Begin your journey back to Rotorua with a scenic boat cruise right across Lake Waikaremoana, to complete another section of the Great Walk Track. A stunning forest and lakeside trail traverses from the secluded Wairaumoana arm of the lake across a peninsula, home to a Kiwi Recovery Program that is successfully increasing the numbers of our threatened national bird. Thanks to the pest-control in this area the forest is some of New Zealand's best. The track then follows the lakeshore to an estuary, where you can see a variety of waterfowl. Driving back you stop in a small Maori village for afternoon tea, and close to Rotorua have a soak in an amazing natural hot spring beneath a roof of native trees (time permitting). Arrive Rotorua by 6pm