Off the Beaten Track to... Te Urewera National Park
For hundreds of years, Te Urewera has been home to the Tuhoe people, or the 'Children of the Mist', so-called because of the traditional belief that they are the offspring of a celestial mist maiden, Hine-puhoku-rangi. The area is remote, rugged and heavily forested with beech, rimu and tawa and is home to Lake Waikaremoana and the smaller lake, Lake Waikareiti.
Established in 1954, much of the Te Urewera National Park is hard to access, which has helped to protect its bird and wildlife, including threatened species like kiwi, kokako, kaka, falcon and the distinctive whio or blue duck. The northern part of the park has the largest remaining kokako population in New Zealand.
Things To Do
- Lake Waikaremoana Track - One of New Zealand's Great Walks , this is the most developed track in the park. This moderate-grade 46-kilometre track takes 3-4 days to complete and offers great opportunities for fishing and swimming.
- Short Walks - From the Aniwaniwa Visitor Centre, many short walks for walkers of all abilities are available. Walks features some of the park's beautiful forests and waterfalls including: Bridal Veil waterfall, Momahaki Fall, Papakorito Falls and views of Panekire Bluff.
- Overnight Walks - The Waimana Valley at the north end of Te Urewera National Park has a great deal to offer visitors, providing opportunities to hike, fish, hunt and camp.
- Boating and Fishing - Lake Waikaremoana is host to a range of water-based activities (jetskis are not permitted) and fishing licences can be purchased at the local campsite. Brown and rainbow trout are common catches.
- Hunting - Animals such as deer and pig are introduced species and hunting of these animals is encouraged. Free permits must be obtained from the local DOC office.
To help plan your holiday itinerary in the Whakatane area, simply choose from the main categories below:
Whakatane is also the base for trips to White Island, an active offshore volcano.
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