The North Island's deepest lake (256 m deep), its surface is at an altitude of 600 metres above sea level. Other geographical features include Panekiri Bluff and Puketukutuku Peninsula, which is the site of a kiwi conservation programme. Surrounded as it is by mountains clad with native forest which has never been logged, it is widely regarded as the North Island's most attractive lake. Many native bird species scarce in most other parts of the North Island can be found in the area. A possum-hunting programme operates in the area to help protect the forest.
From the Maori Waikaremoana translates as 'sea of rippling waters'
Lake Waikaremoana is popular as a holiday destination by people who use the lake for fishing, tramping and other recreational activities. The Lake Waikaremoana Track, one of New Zealand's "Great Walks", is a three to four-day tramp which follows approximately half of the lake's circumference. The track can be walked independently, or as part of a guided group.
Numbers of visitors to the area are mitigated by the unsealed road that must be taken to reach it.
The smaller Lake Waikareiti lies four kilometres to the northeast.