Lake Waikaremoana

New Zealand

Experience the beauty of New Zealand’s North Island as you immerse yourself in stunning natural wilderness.

Trip duration:
3 days

Challenge duration:
3 days

Challenge grade:
4/5

Departure months:
October to April

Accommodation:
Twin-share in 3-star Accommodation

Hiking Lake Waikaremoana

Lake Waikaremoana Track is one of New Zealand’s famed Great Walks, and an experience like none you’ve ever had before.

Over three days, find yourself wandering through pristine rainforest, regenerating shrubland areas of wetland, magnificent rivers, waterfalls and ghostly valleys of mist. As you walk, the melodic call of the tui will follow you everywhere you go and, at dusk, listen out for the call of the kiwi bird. With magnificent views and serene trails, this is sure to be an unforgettable adventure.

Waikaremoana6
Waikaremoana7

Why you'll love this adventure

  • Take in epics views from Panekire Bluffs, overlooking Lake Waikaremoana
  • Marvel at the lush forests and crystal clear waters 
  • Hear the calls of almost every species of North Island native forest bird along the track
  • Raise vital funds for your chosen cause and make friends with like-minded people when you travel for good

 

Trip notes

Day 1: Arrive in Rotorua - Whirinaki Conservation Park/ Te Pua-a-Tāne

Our adventure begins from central Rotorua this morning, where you’ll meet your guide and the rest of your team and board the bus for the 1 ½ hour scenic rim to the Whirinaki Conservation Park / Te Pua-a-Tāne (The Great Forest of Tāne). Upon arrival, we’ll set out on the trail for an epic hiking experience amongst this world-renowned native forest. Famously known as ‘Dinosaur Forest’, the Whirinaki Forest Park is a cultural and environmental taonga (treasure). It is a remnant tract of low-land podocarp forest, only 3% of this type of forest remains in the world. Of the ‘Big 5’ podocarp species, Whirinaki has all 5 (miro, rimu, tōtara, kahikatea and matai) and we will be walking within arms-reach of some of these 1,000-year-old giants. We enjoy a picnic lunch and a hot cuppa by the waterfalls before hitting the trail once more. This evening, we continue on to Lake Waikaremoana to check into our lakeside accommodation.

Trekking Distance: 8-10km

Transfer Time: 4 hours

Meals: Lunch, Dinner

Day 2: Onepoto Bay to Panekire Bluffs, Lake Waikaremoana Great Walk Highlights

Today we’ll begin an invigorating hike up the spectacular Panekire Bluffs, overlooking Lake Waikaremoana. As we climb higher, we’ll see the lush podocarp forest change into cloud forest, with trees covered in fascinating hanging moss. We’ll reach a wide, flat lookout, where we’ll be greeted with astounding views over Lake Waikaremoana and the endless forest-clad mountains of Te Urewera National Park. If the legs are still feeling fresh, there’s an option to continue hiking for a further 2 hours, over gently undulating terrain, to reach the highest point of the Great Walk track to get views over not only the Lake, but out to the Pacific Coast, and even Mt Ruapehu on a clear day. Your guide will make today even more memorable by sharing local stories and legends and bringing the extraordinary cultural, social and geological history of Te Urewera to life. This evening, we’ll gather on the verandah to toast a fabulous day with a cold glass of crisp New Zealand wine or beer and enjoy a grazing platter, before enjoying each other’s company over a two-course, Kiwi-style meal.

Trekking Distance: 9km

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Lake Waikareiti and return to Rotorua

After a hearty cooked breakfast, we’ll make our way through magnificent, ancient red and silver beech forest up to the pristine Lake Waikareiti, 300m in elevation above Lake Waikaremoana. Accessible only by walking track, this lake is free of introduced aquatic plants and is inaccessible to boats, so has outstanding water clarity and is blissfully peaceful. If conditions allow, enjoy a dip in the crystal-clear, fresh water. Lake Waikareiti is home to 6 islets, the largest of which contains another lake – yup, that’s a lake on an island on a lake, on an island! Listen out for more kākā and kākāriki (yellow-crowned rainforest parakeet), be surrounded by bold toutouwai/North Island robin and tiny, energetic titipounamu/riflemen. Take the time to stop and see the sights and sounds of abundance and maybe glimpse a rare native mistletoe clinging to old growth native forest, before it is time for us to return to the bus and to Rotorua. We will arrive in Rotorua city around 5:00pm, taking with us memories to last a lifetime.

Trekking Distance: 4-6km

Transfer Time: 4 hours

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch 

Day 1: Arrive in Rotorua - Whirinaki Conservation Park/ Te Pua-a-Tāne

Our adventure begins from central Rotorua this morning, where you’ll meet your guide and the rest of your team and board the bus for the 1 ½ hour scenic rim to the Whirinaki Conservation Park / Te Pua-a-Tāne (The Great Forest of Tāne). Upon arrival, we’ll set out on the trail for an epic hiking experience amongst this world-renowned native forest. Famously known as ‘Dinosaur Forest’, the Whirinaki Forest Park is a cultural and environmental taonga (treasure). It is a remnant tract of low-land podocarp forest, only 3% of this type of forest remains in the world. Of the ‘Big 5’ podocarp species, Whirinaki has all 5 (miro, rimu, tōtara, kahikatea and matai) and we will be walking within arms-reach of some of these 1,000-year-old giants. We enjoy a picnic lunch and a hot cuppa by the waterfalls before hitting the trail once more. This evening, we continue on to Lake Waikaremoana to check into our lakeside accommodation.

Trekking Distance: 8-10km

Transfer Time: 4 hours

Meals: Lunch, Dinner

Day 2: Onepoto Bay to Panekire Bluffs, Lake Waikaremoana Great Walk Highlights

Today we’ll begin an invigorating hike up the spectacular Panekire Bluffs, overlooking Lake Waikaremoana. As we climb higher, we’ll see the lush podocarp forest change into cloud forest, with trees covered in fascinating hanging moss. We’ll reach a wide, flat lookout, where we’ll be greeted with astounding views over Lake Waikaremoana and the endless forest-clad mountains of Te Urewera National Park. If the legs are still feeling fresh, there’s an option to continue hiking for a further 2 hours, over gently undulating terrain, to reach the highest point of the Great Walk track to get views over not only the Lake, but out to the Pacific Coast, and even Mt Ruapehu on a clear day. Your guide will make today even more memorable by sharing local stories and legends and bringing the extraordinary cultural, social and geological history of Te Urewera to life. This evening, we’ll gather on the verandah to toast a fabulous day with a cold glass of crisp New Zealand wine or beer and enjoy a grazing platter, before enjoying each other’s company over a two-course, Kiwi-style meal.

Trekking Distance: 9km

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Lake Waikareiti and return to Rotorua

After a hearty cooked breakfast, we’ll make our way through magnificent, ancient red and silver beech forest up to the pristine Lake Waikareiti, 300m in elevation above Lake Waikaremoana. Accessible only by walking track, this lake is free of introduced aquatic plants and is inaccessible to boats, so has outstanding water clarity and is blissfully peaceful. If conditions allow, enjoy a dip in the crystal-clear, fresh water. Lake Waikareiti is home to 6 islets, the largest of which contains another lake – yup, that’s a lake on an island on a lake, on an island! Listen out for more kākā and kākāriki (yellow-crowned rainforest parakeet), be surrounded by bold toutouwai/North Island robin and tiny, energetic titipounamu/riflemen. Take the time to stop and see the sights and sounds of abundance and maybe glimpse a rare native mistletoe clinging to old growth native forest, before it is time for us to return to the bus and to Rotorua. We will arrive in Rotorua city around 5:00pm, taking with us memories to last a lifetime.

Trekking Distance: 4-6km

Transfer Time: 4 hours

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch 

Frequently asked questions

Can't find the answer to your question? Get in touch via email (info@inspiredadventure.com.au) or phone (1300 905 188). We’re always here to help!

About the adventure

How challenging is this adventure?

The Lake Waikaremoana trek is ranked a challenging 4/5. While no extensive trekking experience is required prior to registering, our adventures are specifically designed for people who are relatively fit and willing to train. This is a physical challenge, and the fitter you are, the more you will enjoy the experience. It is essential that you prepare for this challenge. We recommend that in the months leading up to your trip, you increase your physical fitness with aerobic exercise.

 

Can I join an Inspired Adventure on my own?

Of course, most people do! Throughout your adventure journey, we will connect you with your fellow adventurers so you can get to know each other before you hit the road.

 

Who will I be travelling with? 

Our average group size at Inspired Adventures ranges from 10 to 20 people. You can be sure that you have all come together with the shared purpose of making a difference to others and having the adventure of a lifetime.

The group will be led by a local tour guide with expert knowledge of the region. Many groups will also be accompanied by an Inspired Adventures team leader or doctor to support and motivate the team. 

Where applicable, a charity representative may also join the team. This is a wonderful opportunity to learn more about your chosen charity and their work.

What is the general age range of participants?

The minimum age for this adventure is 18, however younger ages are considered on application. We have had participants aged 16–80+ take part in our challenges, all united by their sense of philanthropy and adventure.

Fitness and training

How do I train for this adventure?

We will provide you with basic information on how to prepare for your adventure when you register. We recommend that you consult your GP and a personal trainer to develop a training plan that will prepare you for the challenge.

 

It is sensible to start training as early as possible before you go on your trek. As part of your training, we recommend making use of your weekends to complete a full day hike and if possible, an overnight hike. You should aim to walk in hilly terrain for 6-8 hours and get up to do it again the following day comfortably. Conventional exercise routines which build strength, fitness and stamina, such as aerobics and light weight training can be beneficial, particularly if your fitness level is less than ideal.

Accommodation

What is the accommodation like?

Our accommodation is in a very secluded and peaceful part of New Zealand. The ensuite bathrooms have hot showers, toilets and basins. Each room has air-conditioning/heating and a kitchenette, but no television. 

On site, there is a small store that sells basic necessities and snacks, and plenty of space to explore the nearby lake.

Will I be sharing accommodation?

Accommodation on this adventure is based on twin-share. You will be paired with a teammate of the same gender and, whenever possible, age group. Single rooms are available at an additional cost and subject to availability.

I’m travelling with a friend, can we stay together?

If you’re travelling with a friend, please make note of this and we will pair you together.

What to expect

What is the food like? 

Breakfasts are continental breakfast with eggs, plenty of cereal options, fruit, toast, juice, tea and coffee. For lunch, fresh sandwiches will be made, along with a piece of fruit and baked goods. Dinners are 2 course meals prepared by your guides. The menu varies, but a typical dinner could include smoked chicken, fresh vegetables and salads, and protein replacements such as tofu for non-meat eaters.

I have dietary requirements, will I be catered for?

Of course, we will happily arrange for any dietary requirements you’ve noted during booking to be catered for. A special meal can always be prepared to meet individual needs specified in advance.

Will I have mobile phone reception? 

There is no phone coverage available while trekking, and no wifi available at the accommodation. But don’t worry; it’s all part of the experience! Your guides will have satellite phones on them that will be used in the case of an emergency.

Will I have access to electricity?

Yes, there is electricity available at your accommodation.

What do I need to pack? 

You will be sent a comprehensive packing list after you register for the adventure with everything you need to consider.

What happens if there is a medical emergency?

Providing the safest possible environment is our highest priority and we have an outstanding safety record. All Inspired Adventures guides and Team Leaders are first aid trained. Our guides carry a satellite phone to be used if further assistance is required.

How will you manage the risk of COVID-19?

See the COVID-19 section of our website for full details.

Costs and payments

What’s included in the travel cost?

Package inclusions vary from trip to trip so please refer to the specific trip notes for details. 

Generally, the travel cost includes: 

  • Transfers as per itinerary
  • Accommodation in 3-star accommodation, twin-share
  • Meals as per itinerary
  • Local guide
  • Department of Conservation park entry fees
  • Complimentary hire of gear on request 

What’s not included in the travel cost?

Package exclusions vary from trip to trip so please refer to the specific trip notes for details. 

Generally, the travel cost does not include:

  • Airfares
  • Airport transfers
  • Travel insurance (Highly recommended for NZ residents, compulsory non-NZ residents)
  • Soft drinks and alcoholic beverages
  • Personal expenses

Is the travel cost guaranteed?

We will do our best to keep the travel costs as quoted. However, please bear in mind they can change due to group size, currency fluctuations or factors out of our control. If absolutely necessary, Inspired Travel may have to add on an additional supplement fee should the current social distancing measures continue. This fee would be required if our operator needs to add on additional vehicles, equipment and/or staff.

Why do I need to pay a registration fee? 

When you register, you will be required to pay a registration fee to secure your spot on the team. From the minute you register until you return from your adventure, the team at Inspired Adventures will provide you with everything you need - including a personalised fundraising plan, fitness advice and support with travel preparations. You will receive access to your online adventure portal complete with your own online fundraising page and lots of resources to help you along the way. Your registration fee goes towards our cost of managing the adventure and supporting you on your journey.

How much spending money do I need?

Very little spending money is required for this itinerary, as everything you need is included. However, if you wish to buy a coffee or snack during the adventure, a budget of $10 per day would be sufficient.

Is it customary to tip? 

Tipping is not compulsory in New Zealand, and you are encouraged to tip only an amount you find appropriate.

Travel insurance and visas

Do I need to have travel insurance?

Travel insurance is compulsory for non-NZ residents and highly recommended for NZ residents to cover cancellation, hospital, emergency evacuation and lost luggage. We recommend purchasing your policy as soon as possible. It is up to you to ensure you have fully comprehensive travel insurance and you will need to share these details with our team before departure. For more information, please visit www.inspiredadventures.com.au/travel-insurance-information.

Do I need a visa to travel to New Zealand?

Australian passport holders do not require a visa for entry into New Zealand. If you are travelling on a different passport or for further information, please contact the relevant embassy.

About New Zealand

Can I drink the water in New Zealand?

Tap water in New Zealand is safe to drink and we encourage you to bring refillable water bottles or water bladder to minimise plastic waste. You can fill up before the start of the day at the accommodation. 

What weather can I expect?

Thanks to its position in the path of the ‘Roaring 40s’ and mountainous terrain, New Zealand’s weather can frequently change with amazing rapidity. Because the weather can change so unexpectedly you should be prepared for sudden changes in temperature and weather conditions. Cold temperatures, snow, strong winds and heavy rain can occur at any time of the year, including summer. Temperatures will drop significantly in the evenings, so be sure to pack plenty of warm clothing.

About the adventure

How challenging is this adventure?

The Lake Waikaremoana trek is ranked a challenging 4/5. While no extensive trekking experience is required prior to registering, our adventures are specifically designed for people who are relatively fit and willing to train. This is a physical challenge, and the fitter you are, the more you will enjoy the experience. It is essential that you prepare for this challenge. We recommend that in the months leading up to your trip, you increase your physical fitness with aerobic exercise.

Can I join an Inspired Adventure on my own?

Of course, most people do! Throughout your adventure journey, we will connect you with your fellow adventurers so you can get to know each other before you hit the road.

Who will I be travelling with? 

Our average group size at Inspired Adventures ranges from 10 to 20 people. You can be sure that you have all come together with the shared purpose of making a difference to others and having the adventure of a lifetime.

The group will be led by a local tour guide with expert knowledge of the region. Many groups will also be accompanied by an Inspired Adventures team leader or doctor to support and motivate the team. 

Where applicable, a charity representative may also join the team. This is a wonderful opportunity to learn more about your chosen charity and their work.

What is the general age range of participants?

The minimum age for this adventure is 18, however younger ages are considered on application. We have had participants aged 16–80+ take part in our challenges, all united by their sense of philanthropy and adventure.

Fitness and training

How do I train for this adventure?

We will provide you with basic information on how to prepare for your adventure when you register. We recommend that you consult your GP and a personal trainer to develop a training plan that will prepare you for the challenge.

It is sensible to start training as early as possible before you go on your trek. As part of your training, we recommend making use of your weekends to complete a full day hike and if possible, an overnight hike. You should aim to walk in hilly terrain for 6-8 hours and get up to do it again the following day comfortably. Conventional exercise routines which build strength, fitness and stamina, such as aerobics and light weight training can be beneficial, particularly if your fitness level is less than ideal.

Accommodation

What is the accommodation like?

Our accommodation is in a very secluded and peaceful part of New Zealand. The ensuite bathrooms have hot showers, toilets and basins. Each room has air-conditioning/heating and a kitchenette, but no television. 

On site, there is a small store that sells basic necessities and snacks, and plenty of space to explore the nearby lake.

Will I be sharing accommodation?

Accommodation on this adventure is based on twin-share. You will be paired with a teammate of the same gender and, whenever possible, age group. Single rooms are available at an additional cost and subject to availability.

I’m travelling with a friend, can we stay together?

If you’re travelling with a friend, please make note of this and we will pair you together.

What to expect

What is the food like? 

Breakfasts are continental breakfast with eggs, plenty of cereal options, fruit, toast, juice, tea and coffee. For lunch, fresh sandwiches will be made, along with a piece of fruit and baked goods. Dinners are 2 course meals prepared by your guides. The menu varies, but a typical dinner could include smoked chicken, fresh vegetables and salads, and protein replacements such as tofu for non-meat eaters.

I have dietary requirements, will I be catered for?

Of course, we will happily arrange for any dietary requirements you’ve noted during booking to be catered for. A special meal can always be prepared to meet individual needs specified in advance.

Will I have mobile phone reception? 

There is no phone coverage available while trekking, and no wifi available at the accommodation. But don’t worry; it’s all part of the experience! Your guides will have satellite phones on them that will be used in the case of an emergency.

Will I have access to electricity?

Yes, there is electricity available at your accommodation.

What do I need to pack? 

You will be sent a comprehensive packing list after you register for the adventure with everything you need to consider.

What happens if there is a medical emergency?

Providing the safest possible environment is our highest priority and we have an outstanding safety record. All Inspired Adventures guides and Team Leaders are first aid trained. Our guides carry a satellite phone to be used if further assistance is required.

How will you manage the risk of COVID-19?

See the COVID-19 section of our website for full details.

Costs and payments

What’s included in the travel cost?

Package inclusions vary from trip to trip so please refer to the specific trip notes for details. 

Generally, the travel cost includes: 

  • Transfers as per itinerary
  • Accommodation in 3-star accommodation, twin-share
  • Meals as per itinerary
  • Local guide
  • Department of Conservation park entry fees
  • Complimentary hire of gear on request 

What’s not included in the travel cost?

Package exclusions vary from trip to trip so please refer to the specific trip notes for details. 

Generally, the travel cost does not include:

  • Airfares
  • Airport transfers
  • Travel insurance (Highly recommended for NZ residents, compulsory non-NZ residents)
  • Soft drinks and alcoholic beverages
  • Personal expenses

Is the travel cost guaranteed?

We will do our best to keep the travel costs as quoted. However, please bear in mind they can change due to group size, currency fluctuations or factors out of our control. If absolutely necessary, Inspired Travel may have to add on an additional supplement fee should the current social distancing measures continue. This fee would be required if our operator needs to add on additional vehicles, equipment and/or staff.

Why do I need to pay a registration fee? 

When you register, you will be required to pay a registration fee to secure your spot on the team. From the minute you register until you return from your adventure, the team at Inspired Adventures will provide you with everything you need - including a personalised fundraising plan, fitness advice and support with travel preparations. You will receive access to your online adventure portal complete with your own online fundraising page and lots of resources to help you along the way. Your registration fee goes towards our cost of managing the adventure and supporting you on your journey.

How much spending money do I need?

Very little spending money is required for this itinerary, as everything you need is included. However, if you wish to buy a coffee or snack during the adventure, a budget of $10 per day would be sufficient.

Is it customary to tip? 

Tipping is not compulsory in New Zealand, and you are encouraged to tip only an amount you find appropriate.

Travel insurance and visas

Do I need to have travel insurance?

Travel insurance is compulsory for non-NZ residents and highly recommended for NZ residents to cover cancellation, hospital, emergency evacuation and lost luggage. We recommend purchasing your policy as soon as possible. It is up to you to ensure you have fully comprehensive travel insurance and you will need to share these details with our team before departure. For more information, please visit www.inspiredadventures.com.au/travel-insurance-information.

Do I need a visa to travel to New Zealand?

Australian passport holders do not require a visa for entry into New Zealand. If you are travelling on a different passport or for further information, please contact the relevant embassy.

About New Zealand

Can I drink the water in New Zealand?

Tap water in New Zealand is safe to drink and we encourage you to bring refillable water bottles or water bladder to minimise plastic waste. You can fill up before the start of the day at the accommodation. 

What weather can I expect?

Thanks to its position in the path of the ‘Roaring 40s’ and mountainous terrain, New Zealand’s weather can frequently change with amazing rapidity. Because the weather can change so unexpectedly you should be prepared for sudden changes in temperature and weather conditions. Cold temperatures, snow, strong winds and heavy rain can occur at any time of the year, including summer. Temperatures will drop significantly in the evenings, so be sure to pack plenty of warm clothing.

All information is subject to change and will be confirmed upon your registration.

Reviews

Past adventurers rated their overall experience trekking in New Zealand as 4.67 out of 5

★★★★★


“I got to see some beautiful places, meet amazing people and stepped out of my comfort zone.”

Judith

BCNA: New Zealand 2018
Icon-BLK-ResponsibleTravel

Responsible Travel

Caring for our adventurers, the communities we visit and the wellbeing of the planet is the heart of everything we do. This adventure is no exception.
Meaningful connections: Hear from Aranda Elders who will tell us about the history of the area.
Environment: We offset the emissions from this trip through carbon credit programs in partnership with Carbon Neutral. 
Treading lightly: Trekking is a great, low-impact way to explore.
Small group travel: Our teams consist of a maximum of 25 people. Better for you, and better for the planet.
Responsible business: We’re a certified B-Corp, committed to using business as a force for good

Icon-BLK-Safety

Safe travel and flexible bookings

Keeping you safe: We’ve developed a stringent COVID-10 Pandemic Safety Management Plan in cooperation with government guidelines, tourism boards and the advice of medical experts to minimise the risks associated with travel as best as possible.

Flexible bookings: If COVID-19 travel bans mean your Inspired Adventure cannot go ahead as scheduled, we will endeavour to reschedule the departure to a later date or you will receive a travel credit.

To learn more about our COVID-19 policy, you can see a full list of FAQs here

Do you want to take your supporters on an adventure-of-a-lifetime?

Enquire today about an itinerary for your organisation.

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We’re a certified B Corp, committed to using business as a force for good.