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Trails and walks

Ngaa Huanui

Bridal Veil Falls scenic walk is located near Raglan in the Waikato

Come walk in the Waikato! There are many beautiful walkways and places of interest in the Waikato district managed by various organisations, see below for a range of stunning trails and walks.

For a list of toilet facilities throughout or district please head over to our public toilets page.

 

Te Araroa Trail

Te Araroa - New Zealand's Trail

A continuous 3,000 km walking track from Cape Reinga to Bluff

Te Araroa is the ultimate Kiwi experience. You can take months to walk the whole thing, or a few hours or days to walk a local segment.
Over your lifetime everyone can walk the length of New Zealand.

Te Araroa is a different kind of trail from traditional back-country tramping tracks. It connects people, towns and cities.

History is around every bend in the majestic Waikato River.

The Waikato River gave the early Māori inhabitants a source of nourishment and life. Māori regard the Waikato as an ancestor, summed up in the famous saying “Waikato taniwha rau, he piko he taniwha.” Waikato of a hundred taniwha, every bend a taniwha.

Te Araroa (from the north) enters Waikato region along this mighty river. A short excursion into the Hakarimata Range brings walkers to Hamilton. Leaving Hamilton the trail ascends Mt Pirongia, which dominates the skyline throughout the region. Then it enters the rich pastoral land of the King Country. It passes through the spectacular Waitomo Caves. Te Araroa goes deep into the central North Island forests before exiting at the foot of Mt Tongariro.

Check out the Waikato section of the trail here.

Website: teararoa.org.nz 

 

Northern

Harker Reserve and Vivian Falls

A 3km walking and riding track near Onewhero, through native bush and farmland, with views, streams, and a fine waterfall.

On the Onewhero Road, Harker Reserve is a QEll protected Native bush. A shaded walking path leads from Punt Hill to Vivian falls.

Dogs on leads and horses are allowed on this track. No toilet facilities available.

Managed by: The Harker Reserve and track are looked after by a group of local volunteers, for more information head to onewhero.co.nz

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Harker reserve

Mount William walkway

From the McMillan Road end, the track follows a farm fence line with markers to the Mount William Scenic Reserve. The reserve hosts a wide variety of native trees and shrubs, including kauri, hard beech and king ferns. 

From the summit (373m) there are expansive views to the West Coast and Firth of Thames. 

No dogs allowed. There are toilets available about 10 minutes walk from McMillan Road where the track enters the Mount William Scenic Reserve.

Managed by: Department of Conservation

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Mount William walkway
Waikaretu Bush Walk

Just around the corner from Nikau Caves, Waikaretu Bush Walkway has the best waterfall coming down over a big limestone abutment, accessed on a one-hour loop walk through regenerating bush.

This is a privately owned, QEII covenanted block, and is pleasingly simple – without fancy boardwalks, with occasional trees across the path, and just enough track markers to stop you getting lost but still allowing the odd bit of wayward adventuring.

Managed by: Privately owned

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Central

Allan Turner Walkway

Located at the end of Woodcock Rd, a path leads to the Allan Turner Bridge, which links to Fuschia Lane, Matangi.

On the Tamahere side, access to the Mangaharakeke stream gully is under the bridge on a path that is still being worked on but can be used with care.

Experience this 0.5-km out-and-back trail near Hamilton, Waikato. Generally considered an easy route, it takes an average of 7 min to complete. This trail is great for hiking and walking, and it's unlikely you'll encounter many other people while exploring.

Dogs are welcome, but must be on a leash.

Managed by: Tamahere-Mangaone Restoration Trust

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Alan Turner Walkway

Hakarimata Scenic Reserve

Offering five different walks of various duration and fitness levels the Hakarimata Scenic Reserve near Ngaruawahia is a great place to see kauri and to enjoy a walk or tramp through native bush. 

For more info check out the Hakarimata Reserve page on the Department of Conservation's website

No dogs allowed.

Hakarimata Rail Trail
This family walking and cycling track follows the route of the former Ngaruawahia/Glen Massey railway to attractive stream cascades.

Hakarimata Summit Track
Climb to the summit of Hakarimata (374 m) and enjoy good views for the summit tower out towards the coast, across the Waikato Basin and down to Ruapehu.

Hakarimata Walkway
Walk the length of the Hakarimata Range and enjoy excellent views towards the coast and across the Waikato Basin.

Kauri Loop Track 
This well formed track offers spectacular views, beautiful bush and one of the largest kauri trees in the Waikato.

Waterwork Walk
Pass through attractive native bush, alongside a stream, to an old dam - it's an easy and popular walk.

Managed by: Department of Conservation

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Hakarimata kauri loop track

Karakariki Track and waterfall

With suspension bridges, a stream, waterfall and a nice picnic spot, this track has plenty to keep kids entertained.

Take a family picnic, paddle in the stream and look for fossils in the stream below the waterfall.

No dogs allowed. No toilet facilities available.

Managed by: Department of Conservation

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karakariki waterfall
Karamu Walkway

This walkway provides an opportunity to walk over farmland with sheep, cattle and goats close at hand.

You can choose to do the whole walkway, one section of it, or simply wander up to enjoy the view then return to the carpark.

Start at the Four Brothers Scenic Reserve car park on the Hamilton-Raglan Highway (SH23). A moderate 15-minute climb through bush leads to the reserve’s southern boundary, open farmland and good views.

No dogs allowed. No toilet facilities available.

Managed by: Department of Conservation

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karamu walkway

Lake Hakanoa Walkway and the Green Cathedral

The track is pram and wheelchair friendly. Here you will discover the Green Cathedral, an idyllic spot often chosen for weddings. The Green Cathedral has seating for 180 guests and the car park can accommodate 40 cars.

Lake Hakanoa is famous for it's beautiful scenery. Take a walk around the lake - Huntly's most sought-after attraction. The entrance to the walkway is at the end of Park Avenue in Huntly Domain.

Dogs are allowed but must be on a lead.

Managed by: Waikato District Council

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Lake Hakanoa

Lake Kainui

The 3km track goes around the beautiful lake in Horsham Downs.

Dogs are allowed but must be on a lead.

For more info on how to obtain an access key for activities on the lake itself head to our Rivers and Lakes page.

Managed by: Waikato District Council

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LakeKainui

Lake Puketirini

Located on the western side of Huntly and accessed off Rotowaro Road, Lake Puketirini is formed from a disused coal-mined pit. A 3.5km walk/cycleway follows the lake edge while several other tracks lead elsewhere throughout the park.

For more info on how to obtain an access key for activities on the lake itself head to our Rivers and Lakes page.

Dogs allowed but must be on lead.

Managed by: Waikato District Council

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Lake Puketirini

Newstead Walkway

Newstead Walkway is a 2.3km trail located on Vail Road that features a great forest setting and is good for all skill levels.

The trail is primarily used for hiking and walking and is accessible year-round.

Dogs are allowed but must be on lead.

Managed by: Waikato District Council

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Ngaruawahia Kiingitanga Heritage Trail

Ngaruawahia is the home of the first and current Maaori king and has a long history of Maaori settlement. This history is celebrated in a heritage trail immediately adjacent to SH1. Discover The Point, the meeting of the two rivers, Waipa and Waikato and view the gun turret from the British gun boat, Pioneer. 1500 metre circuit.

Managed by: Waikato District Council

Pukemokemoke Bush Reserve

Located about 18km east of Huntly the Pukemokemoke Bush Reserve was set up specifically to protect the bush and provide a recreational and educational asset for the community.

Spanning 40ha the Pukemokemoke reserve is filled with over 300 native plants such as matai, kahikatea, rimu, totara and kauri, some of which as at least 300 years old.

The lookout at the summit of the track provides stunning 360 degree views of the region, with the Hakarimata Ranges, Mt Te Aroha and more all visible on a clear day.

There are no toilet facilities available at this site.

Managed by: The David Johnstone Pukemokemoke Bush Trust & Friends of Pukemokemoke Bush Reserve

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Pukemokemoke Walk
The Sculpture Park at Waitakaruru Arboretum 

This 17.5 ha (42 acre) hillside site provides panoramic vistas over the fertile Waikato valley. The site contains intimate tree-enclosed spaces and interesting landforms including towering cliffs, rocks, a stream, many ponds, and small waterfalls. More than 20,000 trees and shrubs have been planted, representative of flora from many parts of the world.

The Sculpture Park at Waitakaruru Arboretum provides an Art-in-Nature experience with over 100 sculptures and installations within one of New Zealand's largest outdoor galleries.  Its 2km trail winds amongst a landscape of ponds, cliffs, rocks and  thousands of trees created from a former derelict quarry.  The park offers opportunities for children and families to interact with nature in creative ways.

No dogs, toilets available throughout the park.

Website: www.sculpturepark.co.nz

Managed by: Art-in-Nature Arboretum Trust

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The Sculpture Park at Waitakaruru Arboretum

Taitua Arboretum

The Taitua Arboretum is home to an impressive selection of mature trees spread across 22 hectares of open spaces. Featuring lakes, woodland gardens, birdlife and ample picnic spots, all linked by a network of walking tracks, the arboretum is perfect for a leisurely weekend stroll, family picnic or more active outing.

Taitua Arboretum is open seven days from 8am to half an hour before dusk.

Dogs allowed but must be on lead. Toilets are available beside the car park, along with drinking water.

Managed by: Hamilton City Council

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Taitua arboretum
Tamahere reserve

The 4.6 hectare Tamahere Reserve, 30 Tauwhare Rd, is a popular spot for locals and visitors to enjoy native bush and wildlife.

The Tamahere Reserve represents a rare remnant of Waikato, lowland, kahikatea swamp forest with multiple stands of trees ranging from 50- to 400-years-old. Amid exotic trees there is an understory of native mamaku, mahoe, carex and ponga.

Wildlife making home in the reserve include tui, fantail/piwakaka, grey warbler/riroriro, and, at times, rare, long tailed bats/pekapeka. In the Mangaone Stream there is likely to be torrent fish, inanga, common smelt as well as eels/tuna.

Visitors to the Tamahere Reserve enter from the carpark on Tauwhare Rd, opposite Woodcock Rd. A network of paths and boardwalks provide access to the entire reserve. Please stick to the paths for personal safety and the health of the plants. It is a hazardous area so please take care and supervise children at all times.

Check out the Tamahere Forum for more info.

Managed by: Tamahere-Mangaone Restoration Trust

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Tamahere reserve
Taupiri Maunga/Mountain

Taupiri Mountain is sacred to the Waikato people and its lower flanks are used as burial grounds. Amongst others Maori royalty are buried there.

A loop track leads to the summit from an access road from Watts Grove, off Orini Road.

The loop track can be divided into 3 parts. Starting from the southernmost entrance to the track the first part leads up a 900 metre long steep climb to the summit. The northernmost second part leads down a steep 930 metre long steep track to an extension of the access road. The last leg is an easy walk of about 770 metres along the access road extension to the parking area near SH1 and the railway line. Total distance about 2.6 km, with a climb of about 270 metres.

 

Managed by: Waikato Tainui

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Taupiri Maunga Mountain

Te Awa River Ride

This scenic 70km river ride runs between Ngaruawahia and Horahora, 20km south of the Mighty River Domain at Lake Karapiro. Featuring the iconic Perry Bridge, a 120m cycle and walk suspension bridge at Horotiu the River Ride is great for cycle enthusiasts and families alike.

Dogs are allowed but must be on a lead. Nearest public toilet facility located at The Point, Ngaruawahia and within the Ngaruawahia township.

For more info head to te-awa.org.nz

Managed by: Waikato District Council (within the Waikato District Area) and Waikato Regional Council

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perry bridge
Te Iringa Lagoon

A hidden gem Te Iringa Lagoon, a walkway established along the Huntly section of the Waikato Expressway is one of many cultural sites that have been developed.

Located towards Taupiri, access from south-bound lane only.

Managed by: Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency

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te iringa

Te Otamanui Walkway and Lagoon

Featuring a 60 acre lake with a 3km long gully and a 6-10km walkway, starting in the centre of the village and following the Te Kowhai Stream and Te Otamanui Lagoon to the Waipa River, lined by avenues of flowering Kowhai. 

Traditionally the lagoon was an important food source of tuna and kaakahi (freshwater mussels) for Maaori and the nearby Waikeri Marae.

No public toilet facilities available.

Managed by: Te Kowhai Community Group

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Whangamarino Historic Walk

This short walk takes in the Whangamarino Redoubt and Te Teoteo's Paa - two key sites of conflict during the Waikato War of 1863-64.

Information panels provide further detail about the history of the area. The track then follows down an old roadway used during the Land Wars to the exit on to Oram Road. This section of track also forms part of the Te Araroa Trail, a walking trail from Cape Reinga to Bluff.

No dogs allowed. Nearest public toilet facility located in Mercer township on Mercer Esplanade

Managed by: Department of Conservation

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Te Teoteo’s Pā

 

Coastal

For a list of beaches check out our Reserves page.

Bryant Memorial Scenic Reserve - Ngarunui Track

Accessed from Wainui Road, the Ngarunui Track is a 20min (one way) track offering stunning and expansive views of the Raglan coastline, eventually leading to the beach where you can walk along the seashore.

If you’re looking for an even longer route and through more dense coastal forest, you can access the Water Race Track from Upper Wainui Road which adds another 20 minutes or so but meets up with Ngaranui track on Wainui Road. 

No dogs allowed on either track. For a list of toilet facilities in and around Raglan head to our public toilets page.

Managed by: Department of Conservation

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Bryant Memorial Scenic Reserve - Ngarunui Track
Kaitoke Walkway

Discover this 4.0-km out-and-back trail in Raglan.  Generally considered an easy route that can be accessed from three spots, Robinson road, Wainui road(by the school) and Kaitoke street. The walk is about 20 minutes one way, depending on where you start.

Dogs can be walked on lead. No toilet facilities available.

Managed by: 

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Karioi Summit Track and Te Toto Gorge

Karioi is an ancient volcano and the views from the summit are spectacular.

On a fine day you can see as far south as Mt Taranaki, the Herangi Range and Pureora. There is also a good view of all the local harbours as well as Pirongia, Maungatautari and Te Aroha mountains.

No dogs allowed.

Managed by: Department of Conservation

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Karioi Summit Track

Pipiwharauroa Trail / Te Uku Wind Farm

The 18 kilometre long Pipiwharauroa Trail winds over the Te Uku Wind Farm site and affords outstanding 360 degree views across the greater Waikato, to include Raglan, Kawhia and Aotea harbours, and on a clear day, Mt Taranaki.

The trail offers a unique opportunity to experience the history of the site, unmatched views of the Waikato and a chance to get close to a number of the 137 metre high turbines in operation on the wind farm. It takes approximately four hours to walk or two hours to cycle return.

At the summit, a historic site treasured by local iwi, Ngaati Maahanga is known as Te Tihi o Tonganui. The site pays homage to three ancestors, Mahanga the eponymous ancestor and namesake of the tribe, Tonganui the warrior and Hone Waitere, the last Maaori owner of the Wharauroa block.

The formation of the Pipiwharauroa Trail over existing paper roads has been made possible with the co-operation and goodwill of the landowners.

The project is a joint initiative by Waikato District Council, Meridian Energy and landowners.

Managed by: Waikato District Council

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Pipiwharauroa-Trail
Wainui Reserve Bush Park

Experience this 2.9-km loop trail near Raglan, Waikato. An easy route, it takes an average of 51 min to complete. This trail is great for birding, hiking, and walking.

Dogs are welcome, but must be on a leash.

Managed by: Waikato District Council

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Waireinga/Bridal Veil Falls

Walk to the top and down to the base of these spectacular 55m falls. The track is to the top of the falls is suitable for wheelchairs and buggies.

It is an attractive, easy walk through native forest following the Pakoka River to the top of the Waireinga/Bridal Veil Falls. This section of track is designed for assisted wheelchair use and is suitable for children’s pushchairs.

The two viewing platforms at the top of the falls provide spectacular views of the falls and surrounding countryside. From here, the track descends steeply down stairs to a midway viewpoint.

The track continues down more stairs to the bottom view bridge and information shelter where there is a magnificent view directly across the pool and up at the falls.

No dogs allowed.

Managed by: Department of Conservation

View on Google Maps

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