Get Your Tramp On At Lake Waikaremoana

Tramping, or to tramp, is a distinctly Kiwi term for one of New Zealand’s beloved recreational activity: trekking – also known to mean hiking, backpacking or bushwalking. Considering the breathtaking views and beautiful landscapes New Zealand has to offer, it makes perfect sense for Kiwis to coin their own customary term as the vast natural space invites folks to savour and experience its wonder and beauty. One such place is the majestic Lake Waikaremoana of the North Island.

Hiking Lake Waikaremoana Track: Panekire Bluff
This is what tramping gets you — majestic views and gorgeous scenic sights: Photo on Flickr by DOC / CC 2.0

The expansive beauty of Lake Waikaremoana

Situated in the Hawkes Bay region, Lake Waikaremoana boasts a vast space of water and land where lush foliage, flora as well as native fauna lie within the unspoilt Te Urewera National Park. Ancient forests, mountain views, wetlands and remote beaches await and beckon. Renowned for being one of New Zealand’s deepest lake, the sea of rippling waters – as translated from its Maori eponym – offers a range recreational activities like swimming and fishing. The lake lies pretty at the centre of the tramping track specifically paved out by New Zealand’s Department of Conservation.

Hiking Lake Waikaremoana Track:: misty Lake Waikaremoana guided walk
Misty mornings along the Lake Waikaremoana Guided Walk

Hiking Lake Waikaremoana Track

One of New Zealand’s nine prominent Great Walks, the Lake Waikaremoana tramping trek stretches at 46km and features tramping tracks that walk you through prehistoric trees, spectacular waterfall scenery and magnificent scenes of Kiwi beauty. You can choose to tramp from half a day to extended overnight tramps stretching out several days of soaking in the natural wonders – depending on what you want to see, and whatever suits your pace and fancy. There are several accommodating huts and campsites along the tracks, well spaced amongst different sections of tramping tracks. You can either plan an independent tramp or look into the guided tours such as the ones provided by the Department of Conservation.

Hiking Lake Waikaremoana Track: Top of Korokoro Falls
Top of Korokoro Falls: Photo on Flickr by Kathrin & Stefan Marks / CC 2.0

The Lake Waikaremoana Great Walk features enchanting clouded forests including ancient rainforests such as the Panekire Bluffs. Being dubbed the magical goblin forest by some, the forest trees of ages past exhibit a moist blanket of mosses and ferns which effectively whisk you into a mystical land. There is also the Hopu Ruahine bridge which is suspended high among the greenery for an exhilarating walk across. Along the track are wondrous waterfalls as well as possible spottings of iconic birds which are native to this part of New Zealand‘s primitive wilderness. Who knows? You may just encounter the endangered native kokako bird on the way.

Hiking Lake Waikaremoana Track: goblinforest
The enchanting mossy trees in the “goblin forest” of Lake Waikaremoana

Good To Know

As with all great hikes, the Lake Waikaremoana Great Walk would mandate a good physical workout. While there are different tramping tracks requiring different fitness levels and varying degrees of challenge (the steep tracks of Panekire Ridges would be better suited for experienced trampers), it would be important to be aware of your own capabilities and limits. The Department of Conservation has an outdoor safety code which provides vital information. Being equipped with travel insurance is always handy, and noting key tips for travel which is valuable knowledge regardless of where you are.

Getting there

In addition to water taxis, getting to Lake Waikaremoana takes just an hour drive from the town of Wairoa and a scenic 3.5-hour ride from Rotorua. Once there, you will find that the Lake Waikaremoana Great Walk is an immersive and unforgettable tramp of a lifetime. Savour in the sights of the spectacular natural Antipodean views. Muse to the sounds of the lake waters, rustling leaves and chirps of rare birds. Replenish your body with the fresh natural air and scent of the rustic forest grounds. Feel the cool outdoors air, and have a real taste of tramping adventure. Why wait? Head down to New Zealand and get tramping now!

One Response

  1. Wondering what it's like to hike one of NZ's Great Walks? Here's a helpful article about the Lake Waikaremoana Track | JC's and David's Aviary, Zoo, Nature & Places

    Hiking Lake Waikaremoana Track – Go4Travel BlogExploring the outdoors is one of the best way to discover New Zealand. If you’re looking for things to do, why not try hiking Lake Waikaremoana track?


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