Lake Waikaremoana – 44km – 4 day hike – NZ

waterfalls, lake waikaremona, new zealand, hiking, great hike, adventure seeker,

Here is a wee diary of our 3 night 4 day hike we really enjoyed with our highlight being the Korokoro Waterfall:

DAY 1 – Onepoto to Whanganui hut by water taxi

The boat trip over to the start of the hike

The driver was funny a young Maori guy from the area. We asked if he had walked the track and he said, “I have tried to organise it with my family a number of times but it never really worked out and we would rather get on the piss anyway”. We laughed at this. The water taxi signs were hard to find, they were not the best laminated paper so they got wet. The young Maori chap said they were “water taxi” redoing the signs today. So that’s good news for future water taxi users. The taxi ride over was super fun. we decided to do the track from Whanganui hut to Onepoto. Most people do it the other way round. Benefits from doing it backwards (the way we did it) are…

Lake Waikaremoana, Hiking, New zealand, tramping, great walk, nature, huts, lakes, waterfalls
walking by the beautifull blue lake

1. Less weight in your pack for the big climb at the end

2. People who are walking the other way(most common way) can give you tips as they have come from where you are headed.

3. The views up the ridge are better this way.

The night before starting the hike we hadn’t had a very good night sleep. We stayed at the Lake Waikaremoana Holiday Park, sleeping in tents and feeling a bit anxious about the whole hike ahead.

The first day was hard. We hiked to Marauiti Hut which took us 4.5 hours. On our way, we stopped at the lake and had a swim which was nice and refreshing. We passed Waiharuru hut which was a very nice, big and relatively new hut. Then we met a local called “Bates”, who gave us a bit of advice on our upcoming journey. First, he said the hut we were walking to had a rat problem, so do not leave any food out as the rats had been known to eat through people’s tramping bags. He recommended that we put our food in the fireplace since it’s steel and they can’t eat through it, otherwise we can hang it from a string on the ceiling. He also said not to drink the water from the hut tap as it was brown, and that he actually just drinks the lake water but always makes sure he collects it at least 10cm deep. When we arrived at the hut we followed his advice. The hut was run down but fortunately we saw no mice or rats. The hut is right on the lake front, so we went for our second swim of the day. I used Bevans goggles to explore the lake to try to find some trout. At around 5pm we headed to the bunk beds to read our books which lead to a big 1 hour sleep absolutely amazing we needed a power sleep. We had dinner that night of freeze dried food which was good. Overnight, we heard a possum so big that we thought someone was walking on the front step, but perhaps it could have been a wild pig.

Lake Waikaremoana, Hiking, New zealand, tramping, great walk, nature, huts, lakes, waterfalls
Bevan and me give this hike the thumbs up

DAY 2 Marauiti hut to Waiopaoa hut

On the second day I got up early and started the day with 1 hour 30 min of yoga on the lake edge. It was magical. Then we had coffee and porridge for a good breakfast, and off we set. About 45 min into the hike I saw a cool spot in the lake in the sun and Bevan and I agreed we should take a swim. Here we found a natural bees hive on the bank. Bevan is a bee keeper so he was stoked. We explored the lake under water and found some nice coloured highlighted green grass stuff growing under the water, which was impressive. Then we hiked to Korokoro campsite and went for another swim here. It was super hot and sunny and the undulating hills made us tired and hot. We had the option of doing a side hike to Korokoro Falls, which we decided to do. BEST DECISION EVER DEFO WORTH A LOOK. It is 30 min one way. The walk is fun and it has a wire for you to hold on to as you walk across big boulders. TIP: don’t take your pack, hide it in the bushes. That’s what we did, and it was definitely a good decision. The falls are amazing 10/10. The way down is muddy and a little dangerous, so take your time, but you can just view them from the top as well. Bevan and I had made a bet that we would both swim at the bottom of the falls, which ended up being freezing cold but worth it. Then it was 1 and half hours of basically flat walking to the Waiopaoa hut. The hut here was flash with a fire place right on the lake again and was filled with too many people. We chilled here read our books and made dinner. Overall it was a great day.

loving these views

DAY 3 Waiopaoa hut to Panekire hut. 2 hours 45 min.

Was steep in places went from 540 elevation to 1180m. We liked the goblin forest and the views of the lake from high up were amazing. We had overcast weather. We reached the hut and no one was in it which was a nice change from the previous hut. We had first pick of the rooms, and then Bevan went outside and picked us some Manuka tea leaves which we brewed up and and drank which tasted yum.

views from the top

DAY 4 Panekire Hut to the Car

It says 4 1/2 hours, but we did it in 3 hours. AMAZING VIEWS of the lake, the best so far. We were walking down through the clouds which was fun, we joked saying our heads were in the clouds. At the end of the hike we went for the swim and the sun was so hot, the water so clear, it felt like we were on a tropical island. It was epic and a great way to end the hike. We then hopped in the car and started the 5hr journey back to Raglan. We traveled 150 km on the gravel roads and bought a pie at the Lake Waikaremoana holiday park, where we stayed the night before the hike.

My favorite part of the hike seeing the water fall


  • Go see Koro Koro falls it is defo worth it. This was my highlight of the hike. You can leave you pack hidden in the bushes as you walk to the falls as it is a 30 min walk off the main trail one way. This is what we did and was the best decision ever pack free for 1 hour why not. You can swim at the falls so bring your swim wear.
  • Bring toilet paper, none of the toilets have it.
  • Walk the track backwards. It’s way better this way for views, lighter pack for the big mountain climb at the end. Loads of tips from hikers coming the other way as they have been where you are going.