Wairoa, in Northern Hawke’s Bay, is the gateway to Te Urewera National Park and Lake Waikaremoana. The drive from Wairoa to Waikaremoana is about 65km, some of it over gravel roads.
Urewera is New Zealand’s largest national park, and the largest remaining tract of native forest in the North Island. Find out more at www.doc.govt.nz/parks-and-recreation/national-parks/te-urewera/
The park covers 212,600 hectares and provides visitors with an opportunity to see plant and animal life in its natural state and gain an insight into the dramatic geological events that formed the lake.
Camping, boating, fishing and tramping are popular. Hunting is allowed by permit only.
The Lake Waikaremoana Great Walk is classified as one of the best scenic walks in New Zealand. The full track is 46 km, takes three to four days and requires proper hiking boots and tramping gear. There are huts and camping spots positioned along the way. There is a range of other walking options including an easy, wheelchair accessible one-hour walk. Find out more at www.doc.govt.nz/upload/documents/parks-and-recreation/tracks-and-walks/east-coast-hawkes-bay/lake-waikaremoana-track.pdf
Lake Waikaremoana base (www.lake.co.nz) has accommodation, a general store, fuel pump, maps and other information.
Trout fishing licences can be purchased at the Waikaremoana Motor Camp. Hunting licences are obtained from the Aniwaniwa Visitor Centre, also on the edge of the lake.
All visitors to the Ureweras need to be prepared for conditions to change rapidly.