Lake Waikaremoana (translates sea of rippling waters) is located in the Te Urewera national park (which translates btw burnt penis), which is about 2000 sq km big.
A lot of wild woodland with a history of Maori resistance, because the Tuhoe people (also known as children of the mist) never signed the treaty of Waitangi (a place north of Auckland I visited in the first week).
After the walk I cycled State Highway 38, a unsealed road for about 100km north west to Murupara (first coffee since 5 days) and another 50km to Waikite Valley, a wonderful place to pitch your tent and as camper you have free entry to the 4 pools (35° to 40°C), opens at 6 am and closes at 9 pm. At the first (of three major) hills to Murapara was snow above 900m.
On the way south a short trip to Taupo where I visited Huka Falls, or as the Maori call it: Hukanui, great body of spray. Back to Taupo on a MTB single trail without luggage fortunately.
Weather for the next two days seems not to good, Tongariro crossing was canceled for tomorrow and Monday does not look any better, so I may just head south and come back mid January to see the volcanoes.