Escape into the enchanted forest surrounding Lake Waikaremoana, the ancestral home of the Ngai Tribe, also known as the “Children of the Mist.” If that isn’t inviting enough, consider this – this region is also home to the patupaiarehe, mythical fairy creatures reported to have lured the wives of Maori warriors away.
Nestled entirely within the Te Urewera National Park’s boundaries, Lake Waikaremoana has it all –rainforests, wetlands, a herbfield and even a “goblin forest” imbued with magic. Navigate along rivers, past spectacular waterfalls and through valleys shrouded in a ghostly mist.
The 46 km hike takes between three and four days to complete, depending on how often you stop to enjoy the flora and fauna. A diverse plant life abounds here, rich beech forests of red and silver, lichen and moss, rimu trees and a wide range of ferns.
Making the climb to the Panekire Bluffs is the most challenging part of the journey but well worth the effort. You will be rewarded with magnificent views of the lake, surrounding forest and vast mountain range.
Bird lovers will find Lake Waikaremoana an ideal place to explore their hobby. It is here that you may see the kereru who sometimes dine on over-ripe berries leaving them in a comically intoxicated state. Your travels will be accompanied by the melodic sounds of the tui which seem to be everywhere. Fantail, grey mallards and paradise ducks will delight you as you hike the trails in and around the lake.
Take time out to go for a swim or enjoy one of the shorter walks at the Te Urewera National Park. Spend one day or several blending in with an ecosystem that seems to be from another time.
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