Category Archives: new zealand great walks

Lake Waikaremoana Track

Panekire Bluff
Panekire Bluff

In brief: The Lake Waikaremoana Track is the least popular of the New Zealand Great Walks, probably due to the difficult access. On the  contrary it is this relative remoteness, which none of the other Great Walks has,  that makes the walk exceptional:
40 km (GPS, officially it is 46 km) between the Onepoto and Whanganui huts circling part of the Waikaremoana lake, the highest point being the Pankire Bluffs overlooking the lake. Most of the walk is undulating through ancient forests next to the lake side which is quite tough at times.  The Korokoro falls side-trip is a must!
The Lake Waikaremoana track could probably be walked in two days, spending the night either at Waiopaoa or Korokoro Campsite.

Forest, Lake Waikaremoana
Forest, Lake Waikaremoana

The biggest challenge of this walk is organizing transport from  the trailheads. Even with a car, it can turn out a nightmare as the last 50 km of the road driving from Rotorua is unpaved.

Highlights:
The view from the Panakiri bluffs; walking through the ancient forests; the Korokoro falls.

Difficulty: 3

Lake Waikaremoana Itinerary, camping, January 2016:
Onepoto Landing-Waiopaoa Hut-Tapuaenui Campsite-Whanganui Hut-Onepoto Landing (boat).

Information, bookings (all accomodation incl. tent spaces must be booked in advance) and maps: DOC (Department of Conservation).

The complete photogallery of the Lake Waikaremoana (February 2016) is available on flickr.

The Heaphy Track

Bridge before Kohaihai
Bridge before Kohaihai

In brief: The Heaphy track, one of New Zealands Great Walks, is a  multiday hike between Brown´s Hut and Kohaihai on the Northwestern tip of the South Island. An easy walk and probably the easiest of all the New Zealand great walks. While the landshapes are not spectacular like those of the Tongariro Northern Circuit or the Fiordland tracks such as the Routeburn Track, it is nevertheless a very pleasant walk. With one exception: The last day, between Heaphy Hut and Kohaihai, walking along the Pacific coastline, is spectacular and one of the best day hikes in all of New Zealand.

Heaphy Track on the Goulands Downs
Heaphy Track:  The Goulands Downs

Difficulty: 2

Highlights:The walk along the Pacific coast from Heaphy Hut to Kohaihai.

Heaphy Track Itinerary, camping, February 2016:

Nelson (minibus)-Brown´s Hut-Perry Saddle Hut-James Mackay Hut-Heapy Hut-Kohaihai- Westport (minibus)

Information, bookings (all accomodation incl. tent spaces must be booked in advance) and maps: DOC (Department of Conservation) and Heaphy Track.

The complete photogallery of the Heaphy Track (February 2016) is available on flickr.