Lake Waikaremoana and an Ancient Rata Tree in Te Urewera

Lake Waikaremoana and an Ancient Rata Tree in Te Urewera

New Zealand
New Zealand

When Is the Best Time

Lake Waikaremoana is located on an elevation above 600 m. The reason that the best time for hiking is actually pretty short. Snow can happen until November, December to March are the most pleasant months; not too hot while the winter is pretty cold with snow, hail, and strong winds. It frequently rains throughout the year.

It is just a short stroll to the picturesque Papakorito Falls. For the best shot on a sunny day, visit the falls in the afternoon.

Weather

Heavy rainfall in winter until early spring. Even snow is possible until the end of November due to the high elevation. The best time is summer and early autumn from November/December to March, but it can turn cold at any time of the year. Be always prepared for 4 seasons in one day.

Crowds

Hiking in the Te Urewera National Park

Due to the remote location, it is more popular with the "Kiwis". More crowded at Christmas school holiday which usually lasts to the end of January. Not many foreign visitors come to this National Park because no public transport is available. The Te Urewera Great Walk is the at least popular trail although it's the biggest forest wilderness area that remained on the north island of New Zealand.  School holidays

Best Months to Visit

Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Location and Tips

Te Urewera National Park
New Zealand
New Zealand

Lake Waikaremoana is part of the 1954 established Te Urewera National Park. The Name of the Lake was given by the Maori and meant “sea of rippling waters”. It’s the deepest lake on the North Island with a depth of 256 meters in an elevation of 600 meters above sea level. At Waikaremoana starts one of the nine Great Walks of New Zealand. The trail is 44 km long and last three to four days. There are huts along the track which require advanced booking. Camping is permitted at a distance of 500 meters and more from the track. More information about the Great Walk

Te Urewera National Park Great Walk

Several day hiking trails lead through the unique rainforest, gorgeous waterfalls, caves, remote beaches at Lake Waikareiti, and an 800-1000 years old Rata Tree; with unusual reaching branches and twisted trunks. Just breathtaking! One of the easily accessible waterfalls is the Papakorito Falls located close to the lake. The Falls is 20 meters high and easily accessible on a short walk.

The lake is in solitude and not overrun. IMO one of the must-visit places in New Zealand to experience lush and green rainforest with ancient trees in tranquillity.

Where to Stay

Cabin at the Holiday Park next to Lake Waikaremoana

There are few opportunities to stay close to the lake, and advanced booking is recommended especially during summer. We booked a cabin at the Holiday Park close to the Aniwaniwa Information Center and the Papakorito Falls. The cabins are well equipped and beautifully situated next to the Lake. We hiked the well-marked Ruapani Circuit, which takes about 5 hours depending on your fitness level.

Gravel roads leading to the Lake Waikaremoana. It is better to check the road conditions first especially after heavy rainfall. I recommend a 4 WD to get here.

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Created by
Micha Herber-Bleich
Micha Herber-Bleich
I am always open, curious about new…