The Lake Waikaremoana Guided Walk

The 4 Day Lake Waikaremoana Guided Walk is a Journey deep into New Zealand’s last frontier, a land cloaked in mist, mysticism and primordial forest.

This unique Great Walk is a hut–to–hut hiking expedition, circumnavigating beautiful Lake Waikaremoana, with secluded beaches, a fascinating history and truly breathtaking views. You will be in the company of passionate, knowledgeable guides who can bring the forests to life with their intimate knowledge of the land and its unique flora and fauna.

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Rotorua to Waiharuru Hut, 4 HOURS WALKING.

The Lake Waikaremoana Guided Walk begins with a three hour scenic drive from Rotorua. Then you follow one of New Zealand’s oldest Maori trails. Journey through remote villages and dense rainforest, into the heart of Te Urewera National Park and the secluded Lake Waikaremoana.

The hike begins alongside an estuary, home to a variety of water birds. Soon catch the 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 where a Kiwi Recovery Programme is successfully increasing the numbers of our threatened national icon. The Waiharuru Hut welcomes you with a hot drink and a hearty cooked meal. Tonight you may hear the night time calls of the North Island brown kiwi and the morepork / ruru.

Total Walking Distance: 10.5 kms (6.5 mi)

Meals Provided: Lunch and Dinner

Waiharuru Hut to Waiopaoa Hut, 6-7 HOURS WALKING.

This is the longest day of hiking, but you still have plenty of time to enjoy the bush, birds and lovely beaches of the western arm of the lake. 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 cruise reduces walking time and makes the side track to Korokoro Falls more achievable. These stunning falls are worth the detour!

The Urewera forest is home to many native and endangered 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 lush rainforest that stretches to the lake edge, is your home for the night.

Total Walking Distance: 18.3 kms (11.3 mi)

Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.

Waiopaoa Hut to Panekiri Hut, 4 HOURS WALKING.

Today you tackle the Panekire Bluffs, which have been looming ahead for the last two days. Plenty of rest stops and breathtaking views make today’s climb an enjoyable challenge. Hike through different layers of vegetation: from mixed broadleaf podocarp forest featuring giant rata, rimu and miro trees; to enchanted cloud forest of silver beech trees cloaked in eerie mosses, which dominate the higher altitudes. At the close of the day relax with a glass of wine on the verandah of the beautifully situated hut, and soak up the panoramic vistas right out to the ocean. Watch the sunset over the lake and forest clad mountains, while a birds eye view gives an appreciation of the remarkable terrain you have covered over the last few days.

Total Walking Distance: 7.6 kms (4.7mi)

Height Gain: 600 m (1968 ft)

Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.


Panekiri Hut to Rotorua, 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 Panekire Ridge, breaks in the forest offer more magnificent views and 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.

Celebrate completing the Lake Waikaremoana Guided Walk with a delicious BBQ lunch and drinks. Return to Rotorua approximately 6pm.

Total Walking Distance: 8.8 kms (5.4 mi)

Meals Provided: Breakfast and Lunch

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With over 10 years of selling New Zealand and gaining great feedback from our clients, we’re quite confident we know what the best adventures to experience whilst you’re in New Zealand, read our blog to find out what the 10 Must Do New Zealand Adventures are.