Make sure you are properly equipped and well prepared. Your safety is your responsibility. Know the five simple rules of the Outdoor Safety Code.
This track is not recommnded for children under age 10, because of the exposed mountainous environment and often adverse weather conditions.
Lake Waikaremoana lies between altitudes of 600 and 1200 m. The weather at Lake Waikaremoana is changeable. Cold temperatures, snow, strong winds and heavy rain can occur at any time of the year, including summer. Te Urewera is a rainforest, so tracks can become muddy.
Huts on the Lake Waikaremoana Great Walk don't have gas cooking facilities, lighting or toilet paper. Remember to take a portable stove and fuel, candles and toilet paper with you.
Call in at the Te Urewera Visitor Centre for up-to-date information on weather and track conditions before you leave, and fill in your itinerary in hut books as you go.
Boil, filter or chemically treat water if you doubt its purity.
Keep to the track. If you become lost, stop, find shelter, stay calm, and try to assist searchers.
What to expect
- Climb and descend about 600 m over the Panekire Ridge.
- Walk 4-6 hours a day.
- Carry a pack of up to 15 kg.
Care for nature
To the Tūhoe people, Te Urewera is not just their homeland, but also the mother of their first ancestors. The Care for Nature (Manaakitana Te Urewera) principles help visitors experience Te Urewera and the Waikaremoana Great Walk in a way that accords with her needs, and helps us all to build our connection to nature.
That means embracing experiences in nature that are beautiful and child-friendly, and caring for our wildlife and environment.
- Camping is only in approved camping areas and huts, which are alcohol-free.
- There are no rubbish facilities, so pack-in/pack-out – take anything you bring in to Te Urewera out again, avoid single use plastic and don’t litter.
- All native wildlife in Te Urewera is protected. Native plants and animals must not be disturbed, destroyed or removed. The bush is a taonga, a treasure for all.
- To protect ground-dwelling birds, no dogs or other domestic animals are permitted on the track.
- Fire is a major threat. Fires can be used for cooking or warmth, unless there is a temporary fire ban, however, a portable stove is a better option.
- If you are hunting - use firearms carefully. Always identify your target. Unload your firearm and remove the bolt before entering huts, and store ammunition and bolts separately from the firearm.
- Hunting is by permit only.
Before you go into the outdoors, tell someone your plans and leave a date to raise the alarm if you haven't returned. To do this, use the New Zealand Outdoors Intentions process on the AdventureSmart website. It is endorsed by New Zealand's search and rescue agencies and provides three simple options to tell someone you trust the details about your trip.