Lying between the Bay of Plenty and Hawke's Bay is Te Urewera, it is immense, remote and rugged and by a long shot the largest forested wilderness area that remains in the New Zealand’s North Island.
650 species of native plant inhabit the park as well as native birds such as kaka, kokako, falcon and blue duck and the kiwi. This forested beauty is famous for its sparkling lakes and many crystal clear rivers and waterfalls set amides 212,000 hectares (523000 acres) of virgin forest – this rare beauty offers some of the best wilderness hiking we know.
Te Urewera Sacred Forests
This place has a stormy history and for centuries Te Urewera has been home to the Tuhoe people, a Maori 'Children of the Mist' who consider themselves descendants of the celestial mist maiden Hinepukohurangi. The Tuhoe are fiercely proud people especially of their cultural identity and traditions, they have a rich history of Maori resistance and amongst other things they never signed the Treaty of Waitangi - 40% still speaking te reo (Maori) on a regular basis. Te Urewera has two significant hiking areas.
Lake Waikaremoana (the Sea of Rippling Waters) is a deep crucible of water encircled by the ‘Lake Waikaremoana Track’, this is considered to be one of New Zealand’s Great Walks and for good reason. It was formed two thousand odd years ago when a landslip blocked a gorge along the Waikaretāheke River that gradually filled with water creating the lake that is up to 248 metres deep in parts making it the largest body of fresh water in Hawke’s Bay, and the 4th-largest lake in New Zealand. Rugged bluffs drop away to reedy inlets and the lake’s stunning mirror surface. The track can be walked independently, or as part of a guided group. Huts are dotted around the lake and for those wanting to take an easy option, small boats can ferry heavy hiking packs from lodge to lodge.
The 46 Kilometer (23 Mile) track traces the shoreline of the Lake as you walk through ancient rain forest, past giant podocarp trees and admire stunning views from Panekire Bluff over the lake and surrounding area...
For more information on the Guided Lake Waikaremoana Walk
Testament to New Zealanders resolve to protect their natural environment; Whirinaki Forest was the setting of New Zealand's most famous conservation battleground, where people actively fought to save the magnificent native forest from logging in the 1970s and 80s. Today, because of there actions Whirinaki's beauty is protected for all to enjoy through a comprehensive network of walking tracks that weave through native podocarp (conifer) forest featuring rimu, totara, kahikatea, matai and miro. There are also canyons, streams waterfalls and rivers, Arahaki Lagoon and the Oriuwaka Ecological Area to see.