Waikaremoana Road is a scenic tour of one of the North Island's most remote places. The road, with a length of 38,9 km is part of the New Zealand State Highway 38 in the North Island of New Zealand.
Lake Waikaremoana is located in Te Urewera National Park. SH38 through Te Urewera National Park is a winding track, most of it gravel, but the surroundings are spectacular, especially as it snakes past Lake Waikaremoana. It's best taken at a sedate pace - traffic is sparse, but it's narrow and twisting. Numbers of visitors to the area are mitigated by the unsealed road that must be taken to reach it.
The surface of the road is gravel and very windy, with driving speeds of only 30-50km/hr. The road is windy and narrow so don’t underestimate the drive times. State Highway 38 is one of New Zealand's State Highways on the North Island. It starts near Wai-O-Tapu at the intersection with SH 5 and it ends at Wairoa, where it connects to SH 2.
The main risk on this curvy and narrow mountainous road which rarely permits speeds over 30km/h is coming around a blind corner and discover a vehicle proceeding toward you. Most rental companies allow their vehicles on well-maintained unsealed roads, including the unsealed section of Te Urewera Rainforest Route between Te Whaiti and Tuai. However, some have restrictions, and it is advisable to check the terms and conditions of their rental agreements.
There are some important rules for these kind of roads: Allow enough time for your trip. Drive slowly. Keep left at all times. Extend the normal braking distance between you and the car in front. Use your headlights - particularly when dusty or light conditions are poor. Brake on the straight not on the corner. Take frequent breaks. Pull over to allow vehicles behind you to pass. Watch out for wandering stock, particularly at night when they are hard to see. Ensure your tyres are in good condition, carry a good spare and tools for tyre changing. Fill up with fuel before you leave.