WAIKATO REGIONAL WALKWAYS AND CYCLE WAYS
Explore the open Waikato district on foot! Our district attracts 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 tracks to suit all ages and abilities.
For information on Waikato’s walkways, visit www.hamiltonwaikato.com.
Bridal Veil Falls
Bridal Veil Falls, off the main road to Raglan, plunges 55 metres and is one of the most spectacular waterfalls in the North Island. There are two viewing platforms plus wheelchair access to the falls. Walkers can descend to the pool below.
Access is from Wainui Road along the coast southwest of Raglan. Follow the steps beside Bryant Home Children's Bible Camp to a well-formed track through a small patch of coastal forest. This short 20 minute walk has toilets available at Wainui Reserve and Manu Bay.
This 25 minute walk follows a historic water-race that in 1924 powered a generator providing electricity for Bryant Home. Access the track from Bryant Home Children's Bible Camp or via Upper Wainui Road down an access strip leading to a bridge.
PIPIWARAUROA TRAIL (TE UKU WIND FARM TRAIL)
The 18 kilometre long Pipiwharauroa Trail winds over the Te Uku Wind Farm site and offers 360 degree views across the greater Waikato inclding Raglan, Kawhia and Aotea harbours, and on a clear day, Mt Taranaki.
TE TOTO LOWER GORGE TRACK (RAGLAN)
This track has yet to be fully formed and requires good fitness and tramping or hiking boots. A steep descent begins the walk that flattens out closer to the coast and takes in the remains of ancient Māori settlement. A viewing platform on the edge of the gorge provides safe access to rugged coastal views.
MT KARIOI, Raglan
Mount Karioi, which stands guard over the Raglan township, is a 2.4 million year old extinct volcano and the views from the summit are spectacular. It reaches 755 metres at its highest peak and boasts a range of tracks according to difficulty. On a fine day, trampers enjoy vistas of Mt Taranaki, Pureora, Maungamangero, Mt Pirongia and Te Aroha as well as local harbours and New Zealand’s largest inland ecological reserve, Maungatautari.
This is the steeper but more scenic of the two summit tracks. Once over the stile at the start of the track, it’s all uphill, but there are plenty of good vantage points to stop, catch your breath and admire the view. The Karioi Track walk is 3.5 hours to the summit or 2 hours to the lookout and offers sunning views of the coast.
This is the shortest route to the Mt Karioi summit, a 40 minute walk across private farmland to the bush edge from the carpark off Ruapuke Road. From the bush edge, the track climbs steadily through coastal forest to the summit. Approximately 2-3 hours to summit.
The Hakarimata Ranges offer eight distinct tracks for different abilities. All offer stunning views and outstanding access to kauri trees, ancient giants of the New Zealand forest, as well as rimu and nikau.
Hakarimata Summit Track
The most popular track is the Hakarimata Summit which tested the endurance of over 140,000 visitors in 2016. This track has 1349 steps that climb 374 metres but it's worth every step. The stunning views of the coast, across the Waikato basin and down to Ruapehu are a welcome sight at the top!
Hakarimata Rail Trail
This is a great track for a family walk or cycle and follows the former Ngaruawahia / Glen Massey railway to attractive stream cascades. It is about 30 minutes one way.
Kauri Loop Track
This well-formed track offers spectacular views, beautiful bush and one of the largest kauri trees in the Waikato. This is a one hour walk.
Waterworks Walk - Hakarimata Dam
This lovely walk passes through attractive native bush, alongside a stream to the old Hakarimata dam. This is a three hour loop track.
If you are wanting a longer tramp this is the one for you! Walk the length of the Hakarimata Range and enjoy excellent views towards the coast and across the Waikato Basin. This is an advanced walk that may take up to 7.5 hours to complete.
Lake Hakanoa Walkway AND the Green Cathedral
Lake Hakanoa in Huntly is famous for its beautiful scenery and the lake walk is hugely popular as it is both pram and wheelchair friendly. The 4km track is a favourite with locals and visitors due to its ease and accessibility.
The lake walkway is split into thirteen zones including a native tree reserve, Japanese Garden, Global Garden, Wildlife Gardens, Palm Beach, Contemporary Maori Garden, Green Cathedral (popular spot for weddings), Ponga Grove, wetlands and more, making for great picnic spots along the way.
Puketirini Park, a former opencast mine, is now Lake Puketerini, a pristine lake for sailing, boating, skiing, and kayaking. Enjoy easy cross-country walks, runs or mountain bike rides over rolling countryside.
Waiuku Forest, 13km south of Waiuku, covers 1,508 hectares and is planted in Pinus Radiata. While a ‘working forest', it provides a wide range of recreational opportunities including beach and river access, mountain biking, tracks, horse riding, orienteering, fishing, swimming and picnicking. Lookouts offer extensive views over the Tasman Sea, Port Waikato and the Waikato River. Access to the forest is restricted to between 7am and 6pm daily.
Whangamarino Historic Walk
Marvel at regenerating native bush of tree ferns, mahoe, mapou, hangehange and more before climbing up a grassy spur with views over the Waikato River. At the top of the spur are fortification ditches that were part of Te Teoteo’s Pa, a pre-European pa site. A short distance further is the Whangamarino Redoubt which was occupied by British forces during the Waikato Land Wars of 1863-64.
PUkemokemoke Bush Reserve
Only 20 minutes from Hamilton, drive past the Woodlands Cafe in Gordonton, to Whitikahu-Tauhei Road to find the Pukemokemoke Bush Reserve located on the left hand side. The Pukemokemoke Bush Loop Track is a great Waikato walking trail, boasting over 300 native plants including matai, totara, kauri, kanuka and kahikatea, great picnic spots and stunning views of the wider region. 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 visible on a clear day. From the summit the track loops back down the mountain to the log hauler site, a large clearing perfect for a family picnic in the sunshine and further exploration of the other tracks and rejuvenation efforts happening in the reserve. Allow 1 hour 30 minutes to complete circuit.