The arms of Lake Waikaremoana are old river valleys, flooded when an enormous landslide blocked the Waikaretāheke River about 2200 years ago. The Panekiri Range, behind the lake, is made of sandstone that was deposited about 10 million years ago, compressed and later uplifted. Conifer–broadleaf forest covers the area around the lake – mainly a mix of northern rātā, rimu and tawa, with silver beech on the ridges.
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