Lake Waikaremoana page 2
When I used to visit years ago, it was actually the smaller Lake Waikareiti (above) that was the main attraction. You reach it by walking for an hour up a track that starts by the Park's visitor centre. There is a boat shed beside the lake, you can arrange to hire a row boat at the visitor centre before you set out on the walk. And then use the key to unlock your boat and go fishing and exploring the several islands. You can also stay at Sandy Bay hut (below) at the far end of the lake. A favourite memory is of watching trout leap out of the water around the lake margins on a bright summer day. They were chasing the mating dragonflies that dip in the water to lay their eggs. I remember awesome native birdlife too, and bats flitting around the track on twilight. But it was very quiet this August, maybe the birds go to lower altitudes for the winter ? It is a pristine lake, nestled in forest, and was my favourite for many years.
I hiked the track around Lake Waikaremoana for the first time on this visit. The weather was rainy at first so I missed out on the view from the bluffs. I did get to see the remote arms of the lake I had never visited before, and for the last few days had perfect weather. At this time of the year, the track is deserted, and I was the sole occupant of the huge huts on two of the three nights. They say the walk is packed out thru the summer.
I wanted to see that view from the bluffs, so the day after I finished my circuit, I went back to the start of the track and hiked up to the first bluff lookout. It's not very far, only an hour or so. I got to see the mist lift off the lake, and the views I hoped for.
And that evening, my last there, went fishing from camp in perfect conditions. I've never had such settled weather before in this area, and to get it in August was very good luck. Waikaremoana and Waikareiti are special lakes, but no longer my favourites.
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