Take a detour from the usual route to Lake Waikaremoana, and catch a glimpse of the stunning Putere lakes via the scenic backroads. Please note, this route is largely unsealed, so only use it in good weather conditions.
Driving north from Napier, take a left turn at Raupunga onto Putere Road. This is just after you cross the Mohaka River at the stunning Mohaka Viaduct.
Follow Putere Road for about 20km until you get to the three Putere lakes. The first and biggest of the three lakes is called Lake Rotonuiaha, the second Lake Rotoroa and lastly Lake Rotongaio. The Putere lakes are especially beautiful at sunset. To note, there are no dedicated parking or picnic spots at any of the lakes.
To complete a loop back to SH38, take a right turn onto Waireka Road (which is back by Lake Rotonuiaha) and follow this road for about 15km, then turn right onto Waihi Road. Follow Waihi Road for another 20km until you get onto SH38.
Take a left turn and you’ll soon be at the stunning Lake Waikaremoana. Taking a right turn will return you back to Wairoa via Frasertown.