Te Urewera National Park

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Overview

Established in 1954, Te Urewera National Park is New Zealands fourth largest national park. It is remote, rugged, immense and famous for its lakes and beautiful forest as well as its turbulent history. Towards the southern end of the park lays two of the parks treasures, the smaller Lake Waikareiti and its bigger brother, Lake Waikaremoana – don’t miss the experience of the lake shore by tramping the Lake Waikaremoana Great Walk. The not easy accessible surrounds of this amazing park have helped protect much of its native wildlife. Te Urewera is unique in that it holds a full balance of North Island native forest birds – excluding the weka. The park is steeped in history; it is the ancestral home of the mysterious Tuhoe people. Legend traces the roots of Tuhoe to Hine Pukohurangi (the mist maiden) and Te Maunga (the mountain) which explains why Tuhoeare known as the ‘children of the mist’. The Te Urewera National Park defends the main area of native forest remaining in the North Island. The high, hazy 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, among others. The parks main attraction is Lake Waikaremoana, and is a hub of activity for kayakers, hikers and even fly-fishing enthusiasts. There is a visitor centre at Aniwaniwa and from here there are short and long walks that provide walkers with access to the lakes stunning scenery and legendary fishing spots. There is a haven for aquatic life in a small basin above the big lake, an island dotted Lake Waikareiti. The track around Lake Waikaremoana is known as one of New Zealands ‘Great Walks’ and is the focus for many activities in the park. There is a fully serviced motor camp beside Lake Waikaremoana, as well as more than a few 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 (Department of conservation) huts - some 'Basic', and some 'Standard'. A wide range 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. The park has a widespread 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 plummeting down 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. An option of other short walks can be found near the motor camp. If you’re a keen fisherman, brown and rainbow trout can be found in Lake Waikaremoana and you can obtain fishing licenses from the motor camp store, you can also hire kayaks and canoes. At the smaller Lake Waikareiti the DoC has rowboats for hire. Guided red deer, wild pig, goat and other types of game shooting can be organized at Lake Waikaremoana. Responsible hunting is encouraged and expected, as a way to manage introduced animals.
Look Out National Park No Open Fires Parking Toilets Tramping
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Location & Maps

Whakatane District, Bay of Plenty (Direction)

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