Lake Waikaremoana – kayak expedition

Final day was a mirror still start - wind did finally kick in but we made it through the narrows before it blew

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Home bay
Motor campground at Home bay waikaremoana
An amazing weather forecast – some fine weather with little wind – made it a certainty that we would tackle the challenge of getting our 5th wheel up and over the Waikaremoana road. It was wet and windy as we departed from Gissy – but the road up is the easier approach – shorter with less danger from the very narrow sections of this infamous road. We arrived at the motor camp at Home bay in wet and misty cool weather. The next day was again misty and wet so we elected to postpone our kayaking for one more day and take the interesting walk up to lake waikareiti- a well formed track that ascends 300 metre through pristine virgin forest.May have been virgin – but we were pretty poked by days end.
Wednesday dawned fine and clear and we loaded “her ladyship” with all the fruit required for a 4 day expedition – heaps of food- 2 bottles of fine wine – blow up pillows – and the ipad- just a few examples of the relative luzury of taking a kayak capable of a huge load. She had to be loaded at the water edge as she was too heavy to lift- just a slide launch to get her onto the water.
We camped at Tapuaenui site on the first day and did a 2 hour walk to Whanganui hut and back for a looksee. Day 2 saw us head up the lake and battle a 20-30knot gale thru the “narrows” We inched our way forward and finally through to calmer more sheltered waters. We found a great free camp site in the middle of the bush and had a fire to keep us warm through the evening. Better to spend an evening by the fire than retire to the tent at dark.
For the next 2 days we explored the remaining arms of the lake spending our last night at the new hut at Waiharuru with a small group of walkers and had an entertaining evening in the heated hut.
We took the challenge of driving out via Ruatahuna to Rotorua – some potentially awkward narrow sections on the cliff faces of the lake where it is only wide enough for one vehicle. Traffic was slight and we had no narrow escapes ( OK 1 narrow escape). A spectacular road.

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