UPDATE: Sorry folks, as of 1st July 2022 we no longer offer a guided walk on the full Lake Waikaremoana Great Walk track. You can still visit Lake Waikaremoana with Walking Legends, see our more comfortable, lodge-based option the Waikaremoana Discovery Tour. This is the best guided hiking tour of Lake Waikaremoana where you’ll still see all the highlights of the Great Walk, with all the comforts of home.
Heading off on a North Island Great Walk adventure requires planning and preparation. The Lake Waikaremoana Great Walk track is in a very remote area of the North Island, so we need to make sure we have everything we need before we go! Here’s what you need to know about how to pack for our Lake Waikaremoana Guided Walk. Let’s go through what to bring, what not to bring, how to pack it and what to pack it in.
Before you leave home…
Firstly, we’d recommend packing two separate bags. Think of bag one as a “trail” bag or daypack. Think of bag two as a “boat” bag. Your “boat bag” can be a sports hold-all, a suitcase or a duffel-style bag. A day pack or “trail” bag can be a school-style backpack or a light 40 litre hiking pack. If you’d like to borrow packs from us, just let us know and we’ll arrange to have one available on Day 1 when we meet.
For larger groups we bring an enclosed luggage trailer, so suitcases are totally okay to bring. Our luggage trailers are not dust-proof though and in drier months like February and March the access road to the Lake can be very dusty. The dust generally doesn’t migrate inside bags, but if you’re worried, perhaps pack your clothing into a big black rubbish bag before it goes into your bag. It’s definitely a good idea to bring luggage that is not expensive or precious. The more robust the better!
On the morning of the hike dress in your walking gear so that you’re ready to go when we pick you up from your accommodation. Pack the things you need for that day into your trail bag or day pack. This could include your water bottle, sunscreen, camera and phone, personal medications, sunhat, raincoat and extra polypropylene or merino underlayer. Your guide will have your prepacked lunch waiting for you, so add this to your day pack as well. Remember we have day packs for you to borrow – other guided hiking companies charge to borrow gear, we don’t. Our gear hire service is complimentary and always will be! There will be lots of time on Day 1 to organise your gear before we set off and your guides will be there to help you with the finer details.
Your “boat bag” will have everything else you want to bring with you like; spare clothing, hut shoes, toiletries, any extra food, personal items and things like that. The huts are basic, they don’t have hot water, showers, electricity or flushing toilets, so leave any electronics at home. When we arrive at the Hopuruahine trailhead, our guides will put your “boat bag” on our support boat. It will be waiting for you at the first hut when we arrive at the end of the day.
Days Three & Four
On Day Three we hike up Panekire Bluffs to spend a night at Panekire Hut. The views are absolutely spectacular, and well worth the climb. We haven’t yet figured out how to get our support boat up the bluff, so on the morning of Day Three, before we leave the hut, you’ll need to add your sleeping bag and pillow, as well as a change of clothes and a few extra snacks for Day Four, into your trail bag for the night spent at Panekire Hut and the descent to Onepoto on Day Four. You won’t see your “boat” bag until midday on Day Four at Onepoto. We’d expect that you won’t be carrying more than 7 -8 kgs. We have sleeping bags you can borrow too, these weigh around 1.2kg. If your own sleeping bag weighs less than that, bring that one instead!
There you go – the logistics of multi-day guided hiking with minimal fuss, Walking Legends-style! If you have any further queries about packing, please do get in touch, we’re only too happy to help!