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Lake Waikaremoana Guided Hiking Tour from Rotorua New Zealand - 4 days
Walk through Te Urewera National Park
The Lake Waikaremoana Guided Walk is a 4-day, all inclusive, Rotorua to Rotorua, nature hike on New Zealand's Great Walk through Te Urewera National Park.
Lake Waikaremoana is nestled in the mountains of Te Urewera National Park, the largest area of untouched wilderness in the North Island. The track follows the lakeshore for 2 days, before climbing to the top of the Panekire range for breathtaking views.
Enthusiastic guides and boat driver make the challenge and rewards of this multi-day trek even more enjoyable and comfortable. A reasonable level of fitness is required. 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
(Tour dates may not be booked more than one year in advance)
Lake Waikaremoana is situated in Te Urewera National Park, the largest area of untouched natural wilderness remaining in the North Island of New Zealand. The Lake Waikaremoana Track follows the lakeshore for 2 days, before climbing to the top of the Panekiri ridge for breathtaking views of the endless mountains of Te Urewera, the lake, and Pacific Ocean.
DAY ONE 10.5 kms, 4 hours hiking (Lunch, Dinner provided) Pick-up from Rotorua accommodation 8 am. A three-hour scenic drive through remote villages and dense rainforest into the heart of Te Urewera National Park. A half way stop for a cup of tea, then arrive at the lake at 11:30am. An easy first day’s walking helps you slip into the simple rhythm of your adventure. Following the edge of an estuary, the track uses high ground and swing bridges to wind out to the lake edge. Welcome to the “sea of rippling waters,” Waikaremoana. Keeping on the lake shore the track dips in and out of forest, and along beaches, before climbing a low saddle to reach the comfortable Waiharuru Hut. The boat driver welcomes you with a hot drink and hearty cooked meal. The hut is situated near the Puketukutuku Peninsula, where the environmental battle to save the Kiwi continues. Listen for its night time calls.
DAY TWO 18.3 kms, 6-7 hours walking (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner provided) Who’s for bacon and eggs? This is the longest day of walking, but there is still plenty of time to enjoy the bush, birds and beaches of the western arm of the Lake. Make the most of the many secluded bays and cool off in the lake, warm up in the sun! The boat glides in at midday offering tea and coffee, and the chance for a short boat cruise across the lake. Lake Waikaremoana claims the best forest of all the great walks, with the highest plant diversity in New Zealand. Lots of rest stops allow for guide stories and bird watching, and a side trip to an idyllic waterfall is not to be missed. Waiopaoa Hut, nestled amongst the luxuriant rainforest on the lake edge, is your home for the night. Time for a well earned beer and hangi for dinner!
DAY THREE 7.6 kms, 4-5 hours walking (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner provided) Height gain 600 metres Today you tackle the Panekire range, which has been looming ahead for the last two days. Plenty of rest stops and breathtaking views make the morning’s steady climb an enjoyable challenge. After about 2 hours of climbing you reach the Panekire ridge, where the track undulates up and down for another couple of hours to the hut. No worries! The track passes through several different layers of vegetation: from mixed broadleaf Podocarp forest featuring giant rata, rimu and miro; to enchanted cloud forest of silver beech trees, cloaked in vibrant green mosses, which dominate the higher altitudes. Listen for the mythical fairies, said to inhabit this forest. Sunset, tired legs, a glass of wine, views over your first two days of walking and of the Pacific Ocean - all from the deck of the hut! A very special place to bask in Mother Nature and congratulate yourself.
DAY FOUR 8.8 kms, 4-5 hours walking (Breakfast, Lunch provided) Wake to be among the first in the world to greet the new day and sunrise over the Pacific. At 1200m a chilly morning is warmed with hot porridge, toast, good coffee, and some delightful walking. Along the Panekire range the gnarled cloud forest wraps itself around the landscape. Mist clings to the trees and shrouds the valleys below, before slowly clearing to reveal the deep blue lake. Rest on rocky ledges to contemplate the geology or folklore that may have created Lake Waikaremoana only two thousand years ago. Plunge through the changing forest as you descend back to lake level. Elated and tired, time to relax with a celebratory drink and lunch at the end of one of NZ’s greatest tramping tracks.
Return to Rotorua by 6pm.
Packs and Pack Cartage
Participants carry a day pack for the first two days and an 8kg pack the last two days. However, Pack Cartage is available for the last two days if you order the per-person Add-On rate for Pack Cartage.
Fitness Required: Moderate hike, reasonable level of fitness and agility essential. 4-6 hours walking each day over varied terrain. For the first 2 days, walkers carry only a day pack; for the last 2 days, walkers carry a backpack containing a sleeping bag and clothing for one night (6-8kg). Pack cartage for the final 2 days is available by prior arrangement. All other gear will be transported by boat to the end of the track. A support boat is nearby throughout the trip to carry injured or tired walkers.
Group Size: Minimum group size is 4 walkers and 1 guide. Maximum group size is 13 walkers and 2 guides. Small groups enable us to provide a personal service and give our walkers an intimate nature experience.
Trip Includes: All meals, snacks, hot and cold drinks, including wine with evening meals - Rotorua transfers (pick-up/drop-off at Rotorua accommodation) - park fees - hut accommodation fees - gear cartage by boat - support boat - hiking equipment (packs, raincoats & sleeping bags) - knowledgeable and experienced guides.
Accommodations: 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 dining and communal areas, and heating. There is no electricity or hot water. A booking system ensures no overcrowding.
What to bring: Boots (worn-in), 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, torch, water bottle, sunscreen and personal toiletries. Sleeping bag, liner, pillow, backpack and raincoat may be borrowed from us. Equipment checklist for full details of what to bring will be provided on your E-Ticket.
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.
All trips are run according to our Environmental Policy, which incorporates the Department of Conservation's Environmental and Water Care Codes.
The bush is a taonga - a treasure for all. It must be preserved for future generations! The Waikaremoana environment is an exceptional and fragile natural ecosystem. We endeavour to keep learning about the ecological processes at work and how we can best operate within them, while enhancing our visitors appreciation of the area's unique natural and cultural resources. Our philosophy is education through experience: Maximum enjoyment with minimum impact. Keeping groups to a small size on our guided walks enables us to achieve these objectives, and allow our clients to enjoy a true New Zealand wilderness experience.
Please Note: There is a 4 person minimum, in order for this tour to operate. Tour includes Rotorua hotel pick-up. Rates are per person in US dollars. Please order online or call to order or for more information.
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