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Waikaremoana Discovery Tour     ( (j F, Y) )

"The highlight of my New Zealand walking holiday"
"The highlight of my New Zealand walking holiday"
"Waterfalls, lake views.. total experience fantastic!"
"Waterfalls, lake views.. total experience fantastic!"
Lake Waikareiti, North Island walking holiday
Lake Waikareiti, North Island walking holiday
Whirinaki River Canyon
Whirinaki River Canyon
"Guides were brilliant! Helpful, friendly & great sense of humour made the trip!"
"Guides were brilliant! Helpful, friendly & great sense of humour made the trip!"
4 Days
30 - 40km
(18 - 24 miles)
Depart Rotorua
NZD$1000 per child
(15 years and under)

Waikaremoana Discovery Tour Summary

Explore the best of Lake Waikaremoana, Whirinaki Forest and Te Urewera National Park on this New Zealand walking holiday.

Journey into the North Island's most remote and untouched wilderness area, where the mountains are cloaked in mist, mysticism and primordial forest. Walk some of the most spectacular sections of the Lake Waikaremoana Great Walk and world-famous Whirinaki Forest, while staying in comfortable lodgings.

  • Join a small group
  • 4 days / 3 nights all-inclusive New Zealand walking holiday
  • Flexible itinerary - can be tailored to suit most fitness levels
  • Carry a day pack only
  • Includes: all meals and snacks; wine; 2 star lodge accommodation; return Rotorua transport; passionate and experienced guides
  • Optional activities: trout fishing; amazing natural hot spring swim; informal local marae visit

Waikaremoana Discovery Tour Full Itinerary

Day One: Whirinaki Forest

totara whirinaki

3-5 hours walking (Lunch Dinner)

Pick-up from your Rotorua accommodation approx 8:30am. A scenic drive follows ancient Maori trails into the heart of Te Urewera National Park to Lake Waikaremoana. Stop in Whirinaki Forest for a 3-4 hour walk through the best example of NZ's native Podocarp forest. Towering trees such as giant totara, kahikatea and matai, plus rare birdlife (kaka & blue duck) as the trail follows a pristine river to a dramatic canyon.

Relish a fresh picnic lunch before continuing on to reach Lake Waikaremoana.

Settle in to your accommodation with pre-dinner drinks and nibbles on the lake-shore.

Day Two: Panekire Bluffs

us and girls on bluffs 1

3-5 hours walking (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

After a hearty cooked breakfast day two of your NZ walking holiday features some of the most spectacular views from the Lake Waikaremoana Great Walk Track. A 1.5 hour steady climb through mixed broadleaf podocarp forest rewards you with inspiring views over Lake Waikaremoana and the forest-clad mountains of Te Urewera National Park, New Zealand. Spectacular sandstone rock bluffs drop sheer to the lake 600 metres below. An unforgettable lunch spot!

Time permitting we later follow a gorgeous loop track through sparkling tawa forest to New Zealand's largest rata tree.

Then visit a local marae (Maori meeting house) for an informal chat with a Maori elder about the region’s fascinating history and culture. This is a great opportunity to ask questions and provides a real feel for the culture in this isolated area, where Maori is still the first language. 

(Note that because this is a genuine functioning marae occasionally we are unable to make this visit, due it being used by the community)

Day Three: Lake Waikareiti

Rowboat on Lake Waikareiti

3-5 hours walking (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Stroll through a magnificent ancient beech forest to the tranquil Lake Waikareiti. Reached only by walking track, this lake is free of introduced aquatic plants and motorised boats, so has outstanding water clarity and is blissfully peaceful!

If conditions allow we can explore Lake Waikareiti further by rowboat.

Later, we’ll return to Waikaremoana where there’s an option to walk to a dazzling clear fresh-water spring, or a hike through fern forest to explore the unusual Onepoto Caves. Another favourite walk follows the Aniwaniwa (definition = rainbow) River as it plunges over terraces and waterfalls on its journey to Lake Waikaremoana.

Day Four: Lake Waikaremoana Great Walk

2-4 hours walking (Breakfast, Lunch)

Hike another section of the Great Walk Track. A stunning forest and lakeside trail traverses from the shores of an estuary across a peninsula, and on to a secluded arm of the lake. Thanks to the pest-control in this area the forest is some of New Zealand's best, and home to many bird species, including the North Island Brown Kiwi.

Driving back to Rotorua you'll stop for a soak in an amazing natural hot spring beneath a roof of native trees (time permitting). Arrive Rotorua approx 5 - 6pm.

Questions & Answers


Lake Lodge

During the Waikaremoana Discovery Tour we stay in an historic lodge (2 star), which is run by the local iwi (Maori tribe). These character facilities are simple but comfortable, with hot showers, good beds and linen, and are located in a tranquil setting in a small Maori community. Rooms are twin share or double. Single rooms are available on request. Bathrooms are shared between 2 or 3 rooms. World-class trout fishing is on offer in the lake at the front door step. Dinner is served in the lodge dining room, and consists of a hearty main meal followed by dessert. The meals are classic New Zealand fare, with plenty of vegetables and salads. Wine can be purchased from the licensed bar.


18 It dont come better than this
The walking trails on the Waikaremoana Discovery Tour are of easy to moderate difficulty, and range from well-formed paths to tracks broken with tree roots, rocks and mud. Your guide will choose the best walks to suit the group's interests and abilities. Walking times can vary between 2 to 6 hours per day. You will need to carry a daypack with your lunch, water, raincoat and jersey.


rahui island
The Waikaremoana Discovery Tour departs Rotorua regularly, between November to May.

Check out our Walk Calendar.

If none of these dates suit please contact us, we may be able to add more departures, and offer exclusive trips for groups. This trip is also available in winter on demand, please contact us for details.

Talk to Cathy

0800 WALK NZ
Overseas phone +64 7 533 3157
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