Lake Waikaremoana's Great Walk

Lake Waikaremoana, ‘the sea of rippling waters,’ is surrounded by ancient rainforest in the splendid, isolated Te Urewera ranges. A four-day hike, one of New Zealand’s Great Walks, follows the shoreline of the lake – and it’s outstanding.

The first day is the most strenuous, with a long and steady climb to a high bluff. But while the 46km trail requires a reasonable level of fitness, it does get easier – with the track leading down to the lake edge, winding through valleys and forests of beech, podocarp and kāmahi. Kānuka and rimu forest, waterfalls and sandy beach picnic spots feature – and the birdlife is truly memorable, with kererū, kākā, kākāriki, robins, New Zealand falcon and rifleman in residence. At night, the call of morepork and North Island brown kiwi ring out. 

The Lake Waikaremoana trail is one of nine Great Walks – a 10th is opening in 2019 – managed by the Department of Conservation (DOC). Pick up a copy of the AA Traveller and DOC guide, Walking in New Zealand – 30 minutes to Multi-Day – at an AA Centre.

Reported for our AA Directions Autumn 2021 issue

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