Lake Waikaremoana (NI) track

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Lake Waikaremoana (NI) track

Postby benoloughlin » Sun 12 May, 2019 7:29 pm

It looks like I may be visiting in-laws in NZ in July this year and was hoping to get my first multi-day walk in NZ in.
I'm limited to the NI and unfortunately, I don't think I've got the skills or experience to negotiate Mt Ruapehu in winter.
So, I am considering the Lake Waikaremoana track.
Has anyone done this track, if so, would you mind sharing your experience/advice?
Thanks heaps!
Ben
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Re: Lake Waikaremoana (NI) track

Postby lseries92 » Sun 12 May, 2019 9:28 pm

I did it over 10 years ago now and it looks a little more developed now. I did it clockwise to get the major climbing out of the way on day 1 and took the water taxi back at the end. It was in March and saw few people until the last day walking the other way. I would expect this not to be the case these days ...

The ascent on day 1 was not too hard - more a steady climb than steep. The track seemed to be made entirely out of roots in parts as you climbed (sort of like stairs) but the forest was lovely. I met one of the rangers on the way up to Panekire Hut and he mentioned they were considering re-aligning part of the route. I am not sure what he actually meant but at least part of the route seemed to go tantalizingly close to the bushline to get close to some views over the lake but never did which felt like a shame. But of course you do come out on top eventually for some magnificent views. Panekire Hut is positioned in a lovely spot with great views over the lake - I was lucky to have a nice fine day as the following two days were overcast and would have completely missed it.

Walking down to Waiopaoa Hut on day 2 was steep in parts and while it felt like it was too early to stop for the day, the weather got really bad just as I arrived so I was sort of glad to stay there. If I was to do it again I probably would have pushed on to the next hut as the walking was not hard although it would have made a long day (especially if you detour up to the falls on the way). Nice spot though ...

I ended up staying at Waiharuru Hut for day 3 and only had relatively short day to the water taxi pickup point the next day. This hut was fairly new at the time and I was told it was made a little bigger as non-walkers like fisherman would use it.
Not sure if this was (or still is) true but there were certainly more people there.

As for the water taxi ride back, this ended up being the wettest part of the trip - the lake is quite deep and can get a little rough in bad weather which seemed to start not long after we took off.
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Re: Lake Waikaremoana (NI) track

Postby benoloughlin » Sun 12 May, 2019 10:11 pm

Thanks heaps, lseries, sounds like a lovely walk.
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Re: Lake Waikaremoana (NI) track

Postby wayno » Mon 13 May, 2019 7:06 am

the water taxi service that was there has stopped. there is another one but they are very hard to get hold of, DOC no longer look after the track, the local Maori Iwi authority do,
the track huts, bridges, toilets have fallen into decline, part of the track has been closed, although it is still navigable but rough...
there's been a lot of complaints recently about the state of the track.
the visitor information center is closed, support staff are being removed from the lake...
from the land of the long white clouds...
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Re: Lake Waikaremoana (NI) track

Postby benoloughlin » Mon 13 May, 2019 7:53 pm

wayno wrote:the water taxi service that was there has stopped. there is another one but they are very hard to get hold of, DOC no longer look after the track, the local Maori Iwi authority do,
the track huts, bridges, toilets have fallen into decline, part of the track has been closed, although it is still navigable but rough...
there's been a lot of complaints recently about the state of the track.
the visitor information center is closed, support staff are being removed from the lake...


Thanks Wayno for the update. What a shame. Explains why my email to the visitor information centre has gone unanswered.
Oh well... looks like I'll have to investigate what day walks are available in Northland.
kind regards,
Ben
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Re: Lake Waikaremoana (NI) track

Postby wildwanderer » Mon 13 May, 2019 9:48 pm

I wouldn't get discouraged that easily.

Trip advisor has tourists doing the walk in the last few months and enjoying themselves.

Sounds like the closed sections are still navigable

Just need to find out the alternative water taxi.
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Re: Lake Waikaremoana (NI) track

Postby wayno » Tue 14 May, 2019 4:11 am

this has been happening in the last few months and weeks, i've spoken to quite a few people the situation seems to be getting worse. good luck with organising the boat, most people i've spoken to cant get hold of the water taxi
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Re: Lake Waikaremoana (NI) track

Postby rdale » Sun 04 Sep, 2022 11:31 am

Anyone done this recently? I was planning to do the walk in December, and have spent ages unsuccessfully trying to get information on transport for track access; but in the course of that research, I've found that the most recent comments about the trail on Trip Advisor are very negative about the general state of repair of the huts -- it all sounds like it's being neglected.
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Re: Lake Waikaremoana (NI) track

Postby wayno » Sun 04 Sep, 2022 11:59 am

updates here about the track status and contact info.

https://www.ngaituhoe.iwi.nz/alerts-and ... nformation
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Re: Lake Waikaremoana (NI) track

Postby rdale » Mon 05 Sep, 2022 1:30 pm

Thanks Wayno. I saw that page but it's a bit hard to work out when the posts were posted, and therefore to determine what's current -- the most recent posts are, I assume, this year. Anyways, looks like the only option for getting to the start of the track and back is to have a car; no advertised services beyond Wairoa.
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