Te Urewera National Park Travel Guide

Te Urewera National Park

The most striking feature of the Te Urewera National Park is its forests, the huge unbroken tracts of native bush which stretch away as far as the eye can see. The park gives a good idea of what New Zealand was like before humans arrived.

Te Urewera National Park is the third largest in New Zealand extending over some 225,000ha. Found here are the lakes Waikaremoana and Waikareiti, which are among the most beautiful lakes in the North Island.

The tall forest giants that stand in the swirling mist that covers the ranges and creeps into the valleys have seen the coming of the first Maori. The Tuhoe, Children of the mist, are said to be descendants of the celestial mist maiden, Hinepukohu-rangi.

Tribal wars raged in the Urewera for hundreds of years until the arrival of the Europeans. Battles with the Europeans followed, the conflict finally ended in 1871 when peace descended once more in the Urewera.

Few places in New Zealand have such a wide botanical variation as is found in Te Urewera National Park. It ranges from luxuriant kohekohe forest in the lowland to mountain beech on the mountaintops. Shags, kaka, tui and kereru and many smaller birds can be spotted moving about the forest fringes. You will certainly hear the plaintive cry of the morepork, and probably that of the kiwi. Te Urewera National Park offers a wide range of recreational activities, suitable for all ages. Hunting for deer and pigs is encouraged but permits must be obtained. Fishing for rainbow and brown trout in the lakes and rivers is excellent.