Is This The Full Great Walk Track?

On the Waikaremoana Discovery Tour we don’t cover the full Lake Waikaremoana Great Walk track, just the highlights sections.

You’ll still get all those big views from the top of Panekire Bluff, with a lot less work.

I suffer from terrible car sickness, what will the roads be like?

Good question! In general, the roads we travel are well-maintained, bitumen-surfaced single carriageways.

Short sections of road on the Coromandel Peninsula are unsealed, but the road surface is well-maintained and we take our time. If you prefer to sit in the front seat to help your car sickness, please do tell your guide! We will do whatever we can to make you more comfortable.

The access road to Lake Waikaremoana has a 100-kilometre section of un-sealed, dusty gravel road with many sharp corners. If the road hasn’t been graded for a while there can be surface corrugations that make the trip bumpy. If you suffer from car sickness, please equip yourself with whatever remedies you prefer to use to alleviate the discomfort. The best time to purchase medicinal supplies is in Rotorua before we leave.

The roads in and around Tongariro National Park are lovely, well-sealed bitumen surfaced highways and they’re not too twisty, so that will be nice and relaxing.

Do I Need To Bring Cash?

No, cash is not essential on the Bucket List Walk. There is one lunch on Day 9 that is self-catered and not included in your package – you’ll be in Rotorua city and free to go wherever your tastebuds take you.

You’re welcome to bring a small amount of cash, if you wish, in case we make a spontaneous coffee or icecream pitstop!

Should I Bring Something Nice To Wear In The Evenings?

You’re on holiday after all, so why not!? We visit local restaurants for an evening meal on nights 3, 4, 8, 9, 10 & 11, so it’s a good idea to have something nice to wear out to dinner. They’re not super formal occasions, so you could say the dress code is smart casual. Gents – no ties or dinner jackets required, but covered shoes are a good idea. Ladies – comfortable footwear and covered shoulders are advisable, evenings can cool off quickly.

Evening meals on the Coromandel leg of the journey are served in a fully covered, semi-enclosed alfresco dining space. There are outdoor heaters, soft lighting, comfortable seats and full height rain screens but if we encounter windy weather, it’s best to bring an extra layer to wear to dinner, just in case.

Will I Be With The Same Group For The Whole 12 Days?

Our Bucket List walk consists of three of our regular tours, completed back-to-back. A Walking Legends hiking group can consist of Bucket List walkers, as well as single-tour guests who join the group just for one area. So, depending on the makeup of the group, the cast of colourful characters sharing the trails with you can change from one region to the next. You may also have a different guide for each of the three regions – which is pretty cool because that way you get to really sample all the different kinds of hospitality and story-telling our unique guides offer.

Specialty Diets – Can You Cater For Me?

Absolutely. We are happy to accommodate guests with specialty diets, we appreciate as much advance notice as possible. If we don’t receive adequate advanced notice, we may not be able to fully cater for dietary needs as we sometimes operate in an extremely isolated environment and it is not always possible to access specialty foods. Please ensure you advise us as early as possible if you have dietary requirements. You are very welcome to bring any foods with you that you’d like to have.


Our meals are every bit as nourishing and restorative as the scenery you’ll experience. This is a catered trip where the meals are planned, prepared and served to you. All breakfasts, trail snacks, hot drinks, and dinners are included. There is one self-catered lunch on the morning of Day 9, before we begin our Tongariro leg of the journey, where you’ll be able to sample some of Rotorua’s local flavours or just go where your tastebuds take you!

Breakfasts have both cooked and continental options. Healthy packed lunches are made fresh daily with plenty of nutritious goodies to keep you going. We also provide plenty of snacks and hot drinks on the trail.

You’ll enjoy 2-course, and sometimes 3-course, Kiwi-style meals, with plenty of fresh veggies, crisp salads, and decadent desserts prepared by our lodge hosts, our restaurant partners and your talented guides. We provide a complimentary glass of wine, beer or non-alcoholic option with pre-dinner nibbles and you’re welcome to purchase extra drinks during dinner.

I’m Travelling Solo – Who Will I Be Sharing a Room With?



The accommodation on our tours is based on twin share. If you’d prefer to have your own room, please select the single supplement option in the online booking form. The single supplement fee is for the whole trip, not per night. This will ensure you have a room to yourself. If you’re happy to share, you will be placed in a twin room with another adventure-buddy of the same gender in separate beds.


We’ll stay in a variety of boutique and character lodges & hotels, mostly 3 star, which have been chosen for their amazing locations and relaxed atmosphere. Rooms are twin-share with comfy beds and crisp linens. You’ll have an ensuite room for each of the 11 nights of the trip.

Between each leg of the trip (night 4 and night 8), you’ll stay the night at a 4.5 star, historic hotel in central Rotorua within walking distance of Government Gardens and EAT St, Rotoruas’ main dining precinct.

Not all rooms are the same, so if you have specific room requirements, please get in touch with our reservations team to secure the best room for your needs.


Most of the walking trails on the Bucket List Walk are of easy to moderate difficulty. They range from well-formed paths to tracks broken with tree roots, rocks and mud. Some of the trails are harder, such as The Pinnacles and Tongariro Alpine Crossing walks, however these days are optional and we can find other things to keep you busy if you’d rather sit those days out.

On average you should be able to walk for 6 – 7 hours a day and carry a daypack with your lunch, water, raincoat and warm layers.

How Good Is This Walk?

This is the greatest 12-day North Island hiking journey you’ll ever do. We’ll show you the top 3 North Island hiking areas back-to-back; the Coromandel Peninsula, Lake Waikaremoana and the Tongariro National Park over 12 fantastic days. We’ll tick off 18 hiking trails, over 61 trail hours covering between 110-120km (that’s 72 miles), climbing around 2,760 vertical metres. Now that’s an achievement!

The colonial-style Shoal Bay Estate is located in the beautiful and tranquil setting of Shoal Bay, Tryphena with a charming, rustic interior decor and harbour views. There are plenty of sunny, private decks to relax on, plus large pohutukawa trees for shade. Double and Twin rooms with shared bathroom facilities. Single Supplement is available. Dinner and Breakfast are served in the lodge dining room. All meals, snacks and nibbles are included. Complimentary drinks with dinner, additional drinks available for purchase.
Yes! This is a lodge-based tour so we’ll return to our walk lodges each night. You’re welcome to bring a suitcase, we have plenty of space. All you’ll carry on the trail is a day pack with your lunch, water, raincoat, hat, sunscreen and camera.
There is a passenger ferry service that leaves from downtown Auckland and arrives at Tryphena. The journey takes 4 hours and in times of inclement weather the sailing may be cancelled. We recommend that you travel by air instead. If you would like to go by ferry, please ensure your travel insurance provider covers cancelled ferry sailings.
If someone in your group is not a keen walker they can still join us! During the day non-walkers can spend time relaxing at the Lodge, maybe take a fishing trip, or relax on a beach and meet up with the rest of your group in the evenings. Please contact us for more details about this option.
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