Summer is the perfect season for picnics - reporter Caitlin Wallace explores some of North Waikato's perfect picnic spots.

It seemed Lake Hakanoa was no secret when it came to selecting a perfect picnic spot.


When I pulled up to the large open lawn overlooking the pretty Huntly lake there were already a few others making the most of the delightfully sunny day.


Fishermen tried their luck at Lake Hakanoa, Huntly, Waikato district.
Fishermen tried their luck.


Fishermen had cast a line out onto the water and kids were running around.


I find when you pull up to somewhere so atheistically pleasing you just have to stop for a moment and enjoy the peace. 


My trusty picnic blanket was left at home this time but that didn't matter as there were a few picnic tables to choose from.

The cultural entrance to the Lake Hakanoa walkway gave the area some personality.
The cultural entrance to the Lake Hakanoa walkway gave the area some personality.


They may have been a bit run down but it didn't take away from the experience.


There's plenty of grass and shady trees if you preferred to set out your blanket though. 


Whilst taking in the views of the lake, the ducks peacefully floated by the shore.

The playground at Lake Hakanoa features equipment for kids of most of ages.
The playground at Lake Hakanoa features equipment for kids of most of ages.


Usually any sign of food and they are right at your feet waiting for an offering - but Huntly ducks must be different. 

In the distance I could see bowls players all dressed in white concentrating on their game. 


A group of children and adults also pulled up to the adventurous playground for some free entertainment and set up their own picnic under a tree.

Craig Barret's record time around Lake Hakanoa seems to have become a challenge for visitors.
Craig Barret's record time around Lake Hakanoa seems to have become a challenge for visitors.


While I had a little wander around there were a lot of unique little features I hadn't noticed before. 


Heading towards the start of the walkway around the lake - one walk I highly recommend - there was a sign stating a man named Craig Barret had walked said track in just under 16 minutes.


A challenge perhaps? I'm not sure I'd be able to walk that fast, but it's worth a go. 


After a little more exploring I discovered a few more spots worthy of setting up for the afternoon whether you want to sunbathe or just take some time out.


And with the aforementioned playground, Lake Hakanoa has all the makings for relaxing and fun afternoon for the whole family. 


So take some of your favourite foods and head out to this beautiful facility and do a little exploring, you may make some new discoveries. 


Image source: CAITLIN WALLACE/FAIRFAX NZ

Walkways


Hakarimata Summit Track in the Hakarimata Ranges is a challenging walk in Ngaruawahia, close to Hamilton.

Welcome to New Zealand’s cycling and walking heartland, drawing visitors from around the world keen to soak up the district’s breathtaking scenery, clean air, unique landscapes and clear night skies. New Zealand’s national walkway, Te Araroa (Long Pathway) passes through the Waikato region and the stunning Hakarimata Range (also part of Te Araroa) offers visitors outstanding access to a fine stand of kauri trees. The district offers a wide range of cycling and walking tracks to suit all ages.


Click here to view some walkways throughout the Waikato district.

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