In October we headed up to Lake Waikaremona.
We arrived to our accommodation to find the recent storm had cut power to the area, so we had a quiet beer in the dark hoping the storm would clear for the morning.
Four of us headed out on the track from the Panekire Bluff end, two of the boys walked the track over two days and two of us run the track.
Here is the link to the video summary
The Lake Waikaremoana Great Walk is a 44 kilometre tramping track which follows the southern and western coast of Lake Waikaremoana in the North Island of New Zealand. Passing through several types of forest, and grassland, track often provides excellent views over the lake. It is classified as one of New Zealand’s Great Walks, and is located in the Te Urewera National Park.
3 Fees and Reservations
6 External links
The trailheads are at Onepoto, and Hopuruahine, on the southern and northern edges of the lake respectively. Most people take 3 to 4 days to complete the trail.
The trail passes through several areas of private land, and touches the edge of the Puketukutuku Peninsula Kiwi Refuge.
View of Lake Waikaremoana from Panekiri Bluff
Place Distance Time Description
Onepoto 8.8 km 5 hours Passing the former Armed Constabulary Redoubt near the start of the trail, the track then climbs steeply up onto Panekire Bluff. The bluffs form part of the southern shore, and provide spectacular views over the expanse of the lake. Following the ridge, the trail has several sharp dips and climbs. Panekire Hut sits in a small clearing next to the Panekire Trig point (1180m), at the top of the cliffline, with excellent views of the lake.
7.6 km 3–4 hours The trail from Panekire Hut goes west, climbing and descending over the Panekire Range, before eventually descending precipitously into much taller and wetter forest. At the end of the descent lies Waiopaoa Hut and Campsite, on the edge of the Waiopaoa Inlet part of the lake.
Waiopaoa Hut and Campsite
3.6 km 1.5 hours Passes grassland, and forest, usually 10-20m from the lakeshore. Just before Korokoro campsite, there is a turnoff up Korokoro river, to Korokoro Falls which takes about 30 minutes each way.
6.8 km 2.5 hours This section has a very large number of meanders in the trail, as it follows the lakeside, and toward the Maraunui Campsite, follows a river upstream, before crossing it, and returning downstream.
1.7 km 0.5 hours A brief walk through grassland and over a small ridge.
Marauiti Hut and Campsite
6.2 km 2 hours Apart from a brief climb over a small peninsula, the trail follows the shoreline as it meanders northeast.
Waiharuru Hut and Campsite
2.1 km 1.5 hours Climbing fairly steeply, the trail crosses the neck of the Puketukutuku Peninsula, touching the edge of the Kiwi Reserve area. Descending the other side of the peninsula, the trail arrives at the Tapuaenui Campsite, back on the lake shore.
3.2 km 1 hour Again following the shore, the trail meanders along, through forest, before arriving at Whanganui Hut.
2.7 km 0.75 hours After a short walk through the forest, the trail arrives at the beach where water taxis pickup and set-down passengers (they use the rocks on the east end of the beach). Sandflies are a problem whilst waiting here.
Water Taxi Stop
The Department of Conservation provides very conservative estimates on the hiking time from point to point on the track, and experienced hikers may cover quoted distances in half of the recommended time.
As this track is not a circuit, transport is needed between the start and end of the trail. Most trampers use the services of one of the local shuttle bus or shuttle boat operators who can deliver and pick-up trampers at pre-arranged times. The start and end of the trail are both on State Highway 38.
There is a motor camp at Home Bay (Whanganui o parua Inlet), near the Āniwaniwa Visitor Centre.
All the huts/campsites are also accessible by boat, except for Panekire Hut, and there are several boat-ramps along State Highway 38.
Fees and Reservations
Advance bookings required all year. Fees are NZ$32.00 for huts and NZ$14.00 for campsites. Bookings can be made online or over the phone through the following link 
The Lake Waikaremoana Great Walk is located within Te Urewera National Park. The nearest town to the trail is Wairoa, from where there are shuttles on demand to the lake.
Waikaremoana can be approached from two directions. State Highway 38 links Wairoa and the East Coast with the central North Island and passes the lake and the Āniwaniwa Visitor Centre. The highway is unsealed for about 80 kilometres between Murupara and the village of Tuai. There are well-marked side roads to the main boat ramps and Lake Track entrances.
Big Bush Holiday Park (06) 837 3777 runs a variety of transport services around the lake, including a twice weekly service to/from Rotorua and an on demand service to/from Wairoa.
Waikaremoana Guided Tours (06) 837 3729 offers a water taxi and shuttle bus service to either end of the track. This runs on demand in winter and to a timetable in summer.