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Waikaremoana Discovery Tour from Rotorua New Zealand - 4 days
Discover Lake Waikaremoana and the Whirinaki Forest
The Waikaremoana Discovery Tour is a four-day, all inclusive, Rotorua to Rotorua exploratory tour of Lake Waikaremoana and Whirinaki Forest, with a focus on short walks and maximum personal comfort.
This was the last place to be explored by European settlers, and due to its rugged and remote nature it is still like stepping back 100 years in time.
Journey deep into New Zealand’s last frontier, where the mountains are cloaked in mist, mysticism and primordial forest. Walk some of the most spectacular sections of the Lake Waikaremoana Great Walk and extraordinary Whirinaki Rainforest, while staying in comfortable lodgings.
Lake Waikaremoana is perched high in the mountains of Te Urewera National Park, amidst the largest area of untouched native rainforest remaining in the North Island of New Zealand.
Please Note: There is a 4 person minimum in order for this tour to operate.
There are no refunds. All sales are final.
Change Fee Policy: If changes are allowed on a tour or activity, a $20.00 per reservation change fee will be applied for any change to a reservation. Please note that some tours and activities do not allow any changes. Date changes can be made only if we can confirm availability on the new date. While we cannot guarantee any changes can be made, all change requests must be submitted a minimum of 24 hours prior to the tour departure and must be handled on an individual basis through our Reservations Center.
Scheduled Tour Dates 2013/2014/2015
(Only orders placed within 12 months of the tour date will be valid)
The itinerary below is a basic outline. Flexibility enables groups to select from numerous walks and activities, 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.
DAY ONE 3-5 Hours Walking (Lunch, Dinner provided) 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 cross above a thundering waterfall. Alfresco 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 pre-dinner drinks and nibbles on the lake-shore.
DAY TWO 3-7 Hours Walking (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner provided) 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 mountains of Te Urewera National Park. Those 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 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 4-6 Hours Walking (Breakfast, Lunch provided) 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 a pest-free island, 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 fresh-water spring, or following a lakeside track that weaves through caves that were inhabited by early Maori warriors. After dinner there may be time to walk to a lookout to watch the sunset over the lake.
DAY FOUR 2-4 Hours Walking (Breakfast and Lunch provided) Your journey back to Rotorua begins with a scenic boat cruise 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 meets an estuary, where you can see a variety of waterfowl. 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). Return to Rotorua by 6pm.
The above itinerary is a general outline. There are many more walks and interesting sites to choose from. Walking time per day can be anywhere between 2 and 8 hours, and the guides will tailor the walks to suit weather and track conditions, and the group’s fitness and preferences.
Fitness Required: Easy to moderate walking. Walks can be tailored to suit fitness levels.
Group Size: Minimum group size is 4 walkers and maximum is 30 walkers. Our trips tend to attract likeminded people, so most people find the social environment very enjoyable.
Accommodation: During the Waikaremoana Discovery Tour we stay in an old lodge (2 star), which is run by local iwi (Maori tribe). These types of facilities provide hot showers, comfortable beds and linen, and are located in a tranquill setting in a small Maori community. Single rooms are 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.
What to bring: Boots or good hiking shoes, hiking clothing (wool or polypropylene shirts, quick-dry shorts or trousers, wool socks, fleece or wool jersey, warm hat and gloves), casual clothing for evenings, water bottle, sunscreen and personal toiletries, swimsuit. Raincoat may be borrowed from us. An equipment checklist will be provided on your E-Ticket for full details of what to bring.
48 HOURS MINIMUM ADVANCE BOOKING REQUIRED. Please Note: There is a 4 person minimum in order for this tour to operate. Tour includes Rotorua hotel pick-up. If you are ordering this tour for one person only, you must order the basic adult rate plus the Single Supplement rate. Rates are per person in US dollars. Please order online or call to order or for more information.
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