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Destination guides > Pacific Islands > New Zealand > Gisborne & East Cape > Te Urewera National Park

Te Urewera National Park

This remote national park is comprised of a large swathe of rugged wilderness and is home to two beautiful lakes – Lake Waikaremoana and the smaller Lake Waikareiti.

It is the country’s fourth largest national park and the largest in the North Island.

The park has several good walking tracks that range from short walks to Lake Waikareiti to the brilliant Lake Waikaremoana Track.

Practical information

Aniwaniwa Visitor Centre

State Highway 38, Aniwaniwa
Tel (06) 837 3900

Open 8am-4.45pm daily

Coming & going

Big Bush Holiday Park (tel (06) 837 3777) run a shuttle bus to the park from Rotorua and Wairoa. The one-way fare to/from Wairoa is $30.

Local transport

Big Bush Water Taxi (tel (06) 837 3777) run a drop off and pick up service to the trailheads of the Lake Waikaremoana Track.


Lake Waikaremoana Track

Lake Waikaremoana Track (48km, 3-5 days) is one of DOC’s Great Walks. It is a varied trek through the wilderness surrounding Lake Waikaremoana that allows you to see many of New Zealand’s unique birds. The track offers splendid views over the lake.

There are five huts on the track. Each hut costs $25 per night, camp sites are $12, and must be booked in advanced through the Aniwaniwa Visitor Centre (tel (06) 837 3900).
The track can be hiked in either direction and the last three sections can be combined in one day.

The challenging first section of the track, from Onepoto to Panekiri Hut (8.8km, 5 hours), involves a steep 600m climb to the top of the Panekiri Bluff where you are rewarded by breathtaking views. The track then follows the ridge to Panekiri Hut.

The second day, Panekiri Hut to Waiopaoa Hut (7.6km, 3-4hrs), is mostly downhill through beech and kamahi forest.

The third section of the track passes through kanuka forest by the lakeshore and there is a short detour to the dazzling Korokoro Falls. This section runs between Waiopaoa Hut and Marauiti Hut (12.1km, 4½ hours).

The section from Marauiti Hut to Waiharuru Hut (6.2km, 2 hours) is an easy walk along the lakeshore. The area is home to kiwi and it is common to hear them at night if you’re staying at either the Marauiti or Waiharuru Huts.

The stretch between Waiharuru Hut and Whanganui Hut (5.3km, 2½ hours) crosses the neck of the Puketukutuku Peninsula and then follows the lake shore.

The final stretch of the track, from Whanganui Hut to Hopuruahine Bridge (5.2km, 1½hrs), takes in lovely views of the Huiarau Inlet before crossing the Hopuruahine suspension bridge.

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