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4 Day Lake Waikaremoana Guided Walk Hut Based

Days
4

Pricing From
$1530

Difficulty

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Overview

From Rotorua:

A four-day all inclusive, Rotorua to Rotorua guided hike on one of New Zealand's Great Walk tracks, the Lake Waikaremoana Walk through Te Urewera National Park, North Island, New Zealand.

Tour Grading: C

  • You need a reasonable level of fitness, agility and sense of adventure!
  • Track surfaces vary from well-formed paths to rough terrain broken by tree roots, rocks and mud. The terrain is undulating while the track follows the lake edge, and there is a moderate climb and descent of about 600 metres over the Panekiri Ridge.
  • The walk is a challenge that people of all ages and abilities will relish.
  • You will need to be able to carry a medium sized backpack (average weight 7kg) for 4-6 hours for the last two days.
  • We encourage you to walk at your own pace and the daily schedule allows ample time for slow walkers.

Accommodation:

On the Lake Waikaremoana Guided Walk we stay in public Department of Conservation huts. These are authentic NZ bush huts, located in stunning natural

surroundings. They are clean and dry, and provide fresh drinking water, bunk beds with mattresses, outside toilets, separate cooking and communal areas, and heating. This is a true wilderness experience with no electricity or cellphone coverage!

The huts have cold water only. We supply hot refresher towels, and the lake has great swimming in the summer months. It is likely that we will be sharing the huts with other walkers, but a booking system ensures no overcrowding. If hut accommodation isn't your cup of tea, we can do custom tours using lodge-style accommodation. Please contact us to discuss the options.

Food

From the time you are picked up in Rotorua all your food and drinks (non-alcoholic) 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. You will be greeted with a hot or cold drink and pre-dinner nibbles when you arrive at each hut. 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. We take pride in preparing nutritious and innovative New Zealand-style "bush cuisine".

Breakfast offers a selection from fruit, cereal and toast, to a cooked 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 happily provided for. Please let us know at the time of booking and we will do our best to cater for your needs.

General Information

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. A support boat is nearby if needed. 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.

Weather:

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.

Fishing:

The first 2 days of the walk provide 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. Please bring your own fishing gear. You must have a fishing license, which can be bought in Rotorua or at Waikaremoana.

Waiharuru Hut at Lake Waikaremoana

Swingbridge near Lake Waikaremoana

Walkers at Lake Waikaremoana

Waterfall near Lake Waikaremoana

Waterfalls near Lake Waikaremoana

Lake Waikaremoana Lodge

Misty morning on Lake Waikaremoana

Panekiri Ridge from Korokoro Stream

Walkers in silver beech forest on Panekiri Ridge

View from Panikiri Hut

Day 3 - Sunset at Panekiri Hut

Bald Knob Lookout

Group on Panikiri Ridge

Lunch spot on bluffs on Panikiri Ridge

Scrabble by Candlelight

Rob and Hilary on Bluffs on Panikiri Ridge

Waikaremoana sunlight through trees

Waikaremoana

Waikaremoana Forest

Waikaremoana Panekiri Ridge

Itinerary

Open All
Day 1Rotorua to Lake Waikaremoana and Waiharuru Hut10.5 kms, 4 hours walking

Your New Zealand Lake Waikaremoana hiking adventure begins with a scenic drive from Rotorua to the start of the Lake Waikaremoana Great Walk Track, along one of New Zealand's oldest Maori trails. We journey through remote villages and dense New Zealand rainforest, into the heart of Te Urewera National Park and on to Lake Waikaremoana.

Beginning the hike, the track at first follows the edge of an estuary where we are likely to enjoy the company of a variety of water birds. Shortly we catch our first glimpse of the lake itself and the reason for its name (sea of rippling waters) becomes apparent. The hike follows the edge of Lake Waikaremoana for most of the afternoon, before crossing a small headland from which we see our lodgings for the night.

The Waiharuru Hut welcomes you with a hot drink and a hearty cooked meal. The hut is near the Puketukutuku Peninsula, where a kiwi recovery programme is successfully increasing the numbers of our threatened national icon. Visitors may delight in hearing the night time calls of the New Zealand North Island brown kiwi and the morepork / ruru.

Day 2Waiharuru Hut to Waiopaoa Hut18.3 kms, 6-8 hours walking

This is our longest day of hiking, but we still have plenty of time to enjoy the bush, birds and beaches of the western arm of the lake. We make the most of the many scenic lakeside and lookout spots for rests and refreshments, and some may indulge in a swim. After lunch an optional boat trip can reduce walking time, and make the side track to Korokoro Falls more achievable. These stunning falls are worth the detour!

The vast Urewera forest is home to many native birds. You are likely to witness the amazing flights of the fantail and kereru, and hear the melodious calls of the bellbird and tui. Waiopaoa Hut, nestled amongst the luxuriant rainforest that stretches to the lake edge, is our home for the night.

Day 3Waiopaoa Hut to Panekiri Bluffs7.6 kms, 4-5 hours walking - Height gain 600 metres

Today we tackle the Panekiri Bluffs, which have been rising ahead of us for the last two days. Plenty of rest stops and breathtaking views make today's climb an enjoyable challenge. We pass through different layers of vegetation: from mixed broadleaf podocarp forest featuring giant rata, rimu and miro trees; to enchanted goblin forest of silver beech trees cloaked in eerie mosses, which dominate the higher altitudes.

At the close of the day relax on the verandah of the beautifully situated hut, and soak up the panoramic vistas right out to the ocean. Watch the sun set over the lake and forest clad mountains, while a birds eye view bestows an appreciation of the remarkable terrain we have covered over the last few days.

Day 4Panekiri Bluffs to Rotorua8.8 kms, 4-5 hours walking

Wake to be among the first in the world to welcome the day's sunrise over the Pacific Ocean! Continuing along the Panekiri Ridge, breaks in the forest offer more magnificent views and there are fantastic photo opportunities from the colossal rock ledges that form the range. Look across Onepoto Bay to see the evidence of the landslide that created Lake Waikaremoana over two thousand years ago. Enjoy a fresh picnic lunch from this dramatic lookout, and understand why this walk is one of NZ's "Greats".

On completing the track we take time to celebrate our walking achievements, new friends and enhanced knowledge and appreciation of the natural and cultural history of Waikaremoana.

Cost per person

November 2019 - April 2020

  • Adult: NZ$1,530
  • Child: NZ$1,000*

*Child age 15 years and under

Bookings:

  • Deposit NZ$250 per person, non-refundable deposit to confirm a booking, with the balance due one month prior to trip departing.

Cancellation Fees:

  • 50% if cancelled between 30 and 8 days prior to departure.
  • 100% if cancelled within 7 days of departure.

Itinerary

Open All
Day 1Rotorua to Lake Waikaremoana and Waiharuru Hut10.5 kms, 4 hours walking

Your New Zealand Lake Waikaremoana hiking adventure begins with a scenic drive from Rotorua to the start of the Lake Waikaremoana Great Walk Track, along one of New Zealand's oldest Maori trails. We journey through remote villages and dense New Zealand rainforest, into the heart of Te Urewera National Park and on to Lake Waikaremoana.

Beginning the hike, the track at first follows the edge of an estuary where we are likely to enjoy the company of a variety of water birds. Shortly we catch our first glimpse of the lake itself and the reason for its name (sea of rippling waters) becomes apparent. The hike follows the edge of Lake Waikaremoana for most of the afternoon, before crossing a small headland from which we see our lodgings for the night.

The Waiharuru Hut welcomes you with a hot drink and a hearty cooked meal. The hut is near the Puketukutuku Peninsula, where a kiwi recovery programme is successfully increasing the numbers of our threatened national icon. Visitors may delight in hearing the night time calls of the New Zealand North Island brown kiwi and the morepork / ruru.

Day 2Waiharuru Hut to Waiopaoa Hut18.3 kms, 6-8 hours walking

This is our longest day of hiking, but we still have plenty of time to enjoy the bush, birds and beaches of the western arm of the lake. We make the most of the many scenic lakeside and lookout spots for rests and refreshments, and some may indulge in a swim. After lunch an optional boat trip can reduce walking time, and make the side track to Korokoro Falls more achievable. These stunning falls are worth the detour!

The vast Urewera forest is home to many native birds. You are likely to witness the amazing flights of the fantail and kereru, and hear the melodious calls of the bellbird and tui. Waiopaoa Hut, nestled amongst the luxuriant rainforest that stretches to the lake edge, is our home for the night.

Day 3Waiopaoa Hut to Panekiri Bluffs7.6 kms, 4-5 hours walking - Height gain 600 metres

Today we tackle the Panekiri Bluffs, which have been rising ahead of us for the last two days. Plenty of rest stops and breathtaking views make today's climb an enjoyable challenge. We pass through different layers of vegetation: from mixed broadleaf podocarp forest featuring giant rata, rimu and miro trees; to enchanted goblin forest of silver beech trees cloaked in eerie mosses, which dominate the higher altitudes.

At the close of the day relax on the verandah of the beautifully situated hut, and soak up the panoramic vistas right out to the ocean. Watch the sun set over the lake and forest clad mountains, while a birds eye view bestows an appreciation of the remarkable terrain we have covered over the last few days.

Day 4Panekiri Bluffs to Rotorua8.8 kms, 4-5 hours walking

Wake to be among the first in the world to welcome the day's sunrise over the Pacific Ocean! Continuing along the Panekiri Ridge, breaks in the forest offer more magnificent views and there are fantastic photo opportunities from the colossal rock ledges that form the range. Look across Onepoto Bay to see the evidence of the landslide that created Lake Waikaremoana over two thousand years ago. Enjoy a fresh picnic lunch from this dramatic lookout, and understand why this walk is one of NZ's "Greats".

On completing the track we take time to celebrate our walking achievements, new friends and enhanced knowledge and appreciation of the natural and cultural history of Waikaremoana.

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