Te Urewera National Park

Feel the refreshing embrace of an ancient, mystical forest

New Zealand's fourth largest national park is the ancestral home of the enigmatic Tuhoe people. Legend traces the parentage of the Tuhoe to Hine Pukohurangi (the mist maiden) and Te Maunga (the mountain), which is why the Tuhoe are known as 'children of the mist'.

Looking like a landlocked fiord, Lake Waikaremoana is wilderness at its best
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Beautiful Lake Waikaremoana, the focus for many activities in the park, was formed about 2200 years ago by a colossal landslide that blocked the Waikaretaheke River. The lake is more than 250 metres deep in parts, and many visitors remark that it resembles a fiord. The track around the lake is one of New Zealand's 'Great Walks'.
Key Highlights
The Te Urewera National Park protects the largest area of native forest remaining in the North Island. The high, misty ridges are covered with silver and mountain beech. At lower levels, the forest is dominated by red beech, rimu, rata, tawa and kamahi. Nearly all of New Zealand's native birds live in the forest, including rare species such as the North Island brown kiwi, blue duck (whio), yellow-crowned parakeet (kakariki), bush parrot (kaka), New Zealand falcon (karearea) and the blue-wattled kokako.
For hikers, kayakers and fly-fishing enthusiasts, the park's main attraction is Lake Waikaremoana. From the visitor centre at Aniwaniwa, short and long walks provide access to the lake's spectacular scenery and legendary fishing spots. In a small basin above the big lake is island-dotted Lake Waikareiti, a haven for native aquatic life.
In the park

With any luck, you'll meet kaka in the forest.
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There is a fully serviced motor camp beside Lake Waikaremoana, as well as several more basic camping areas. Around the Waikaremoana Track, the Department of Conservation provides a series of 'Great Walk' hikers' huts. In other parts of the park, there are more than 40 DOC huts - some 'Basic', some 'Standard'.
Around the park
A variety of accommodation can be found in Wairoa, the town closest to the Te Urewera National Park. Between Wairoa and Lake Waikaremoana there are several B & Bs and homestays.
Key Activities
Short and long walks
The park has an extensive track system, including the 3-day Lake Waikaremoana Track which leads around the western lake edge, climbing onto the crest of the Panekiri Range before dropping to the shoreline. Six shorter walks begin close to the Aniwaniwa visitors' centre - they range from a 20 minute stroll to Aniwaniwa Falls to the challenging six hour Ruapani Circuit. A choice of other short walks can be found near the motor camp.
Boating and fly fishing
Brown and rainbow trout are found in Lake Waikaremoana, and fishing licenses can be bought from the motor camp store. Kayaks and canoes are available for hire. At Lake Waikareiti, the Department of Conservation has a number of rowboats for hire.
Guided red deer, wild pig, goat and other types of game shooting can be organised at Lake Waikaremoana. Responsible hunting is encouraged, as a way to control introduced animals.