Te Urewera

Lake Waikaremoana
Image: Stefan Marks | Creative Commons


Remote, rugged, immense, Te Urewera is famous for its lakes and forested beauty as well as its stormy history.

Place overview


  • Bird and wildlife watching
  • Boating
  • Camping
  • Fishing
  • Walking and tramping

In this section

Find things to do and places to stay Te Urewera

About track difficulties
About hut categories

Bird and wildlife watching

The Ruapani Circuit Track, which passes 7 wetlands, is a great place to see wetland birds such as scaups/pāpango, grey ducks/pārera, Australian coots and little black shags.


Water-based activities are popular on Lake Waikaremoana and most craft are permitted. Jet skis, house boats and float planes are not permitted. Carry approved safety equipment and a local chart of the lake. Observe water safety regulations.

Row boats can be hired on Lake Waikareiti when the Te Urewera Visitor Centre is open.

Be aware that conditions on the lake can change rapidly.


Brown and rainbow trout are found in Lakes Waikaremoana and Waikareiti. Fishing licenses can be bought from Fish & Game New Zealand and from the Waikaremoana Holiday Park store.

Historic sightseeing

Te Totara Hut is the oldest surviving hut in Te Urewera. It represents the intensification of wild animal control and the 'golden age' of the New Zealand deer culler.


Kayaks are available for hire from the holiday park store.


Introduced animals such as deer and pigs are found in the park and hunting of these animals is encouraged. Hunting is by permit only. For the safety of all users and to assist search and rescue operations, hunters must have a permit. Obtain a permit from Te Urewera Board.

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    About this place

    Getting there

    Te Urewera lies between the Bay of Plenty and Hawke's Bay in the North Island. The nearest towns are Whakatane and Taneatua to the north, Murupara and Ruatahuna to the west, and Wairoa to the east.

    Lake Waikaremoana

    Lake Waikaremoana can be approached from two directions. SH38 links Wairoa and the East Coast with the central North Island, and passes the lake and the Te Urewera Visitor Centre in Aniwaniwa. The highway has a 2WD gravel surface for about 90 km between Murupara and Aniwaniwa (about a 2 hour drive). There are well marked side roads to the main boat ramps, campsites and walk entrances.

    Privately owned shuttle buses and water taxis provide transport to either end of the Lake Waikaremoana Great Walk throughout the year. This allows walkers to leave their vehicle at the Waikaremoana Holiday Park where they are more secure than at the walk ends.

    Waimana Valley

    To access the northern part of Te Urewera via the Waimana Valley, take the Bell Road turnoff from SH2. The road travels about 30 km up the valley to the Matahi Valley Road end. Caution is advised as most of this road is unsealed, narrow and windy.

    DOC accepts no responsibility for damage to vehicles left unattended in Te Urewera. 

    Know before you go

    Extreme weather changes are a feature of the area, including snow in summer. 


    Te Urewera Visitor Centre
    Phone:   +64 6 837 3803
    Email:   teureweravc@doc.govt.nz
    Address:   Te Kura Whenua
    6249 Lake Road/SH38
    Waikaremoana 4195
    Te Urewera
    Full office details
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