State Highway 38 Lake Waikaremoana

Waikaremoana (Sea of Rippling Waters) and its little sister, Lake Waikareiti, are set perfectly in the 225,000 hectares of the largest untouched native forest reserve in the North Island. The lake, with its National Park Visitor Centre at Aniwaniwa and accommodation and boat launching facilities at Home Bay, is the focal point of a variety of outdoor recreational activities. Boating, sailing, lake kayaking, hiking, hunting and trout fishing being the highlights. A network of long and short walking tracks provides access to scenic corners of this wilderness park and includes the internationally recognised 3 to 4-day hiking trail around the perimeter of Waikaremoana. Serviced by Department of Conservation huts (bookings essential) and campsites this popular adventure is one of the “Great Walks of New Zealand”.

Wairoa to Lake Waikaremoana [From Wairoa 63km | From Gisborne 164km] The alternative route out of Wairoa is SH38 which heads inland to the wilderness of Lake Waikaremoana and Te Urewera National Park.

Lake Waikaremoana to Rotorua [Rotorua 173km] This drive is one of the last true back country state highways left in New Zealand. The unsealed road takes you on a 3 hour journey from Aniwaniwa to Rotorua through spectacular rainforest, with pockets of civilisation at Ruatahuna and Murupara. Good planning is an essential element for a successful journey. Petrol at Home Bay at Lake Waikaremoana and Murupara.

Photo credit to Kerry Fox