Te Awamutu and Surrounds

Things to do in Te Awamutu

Nestled amongst peat lakes and fertile farmland, the town of Te Awamutu, Waikato, is one of the region’s hidden gems.

Attractions in and around the small township include something for everyone - from the town’s famous Rose Gardens to Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari, which showcases New Zealand’s unique fauna and wildlife.

Whether you enjoy beautiful scenic Waikato walks in the countryside, gourmet lunch at one of the local eateries or playing a round of golf, you’ll find plenty of things to do in and around Te Awamutu. Plus there is a variety of great Te Awamutu accommodation on offer, from B&Bs to homestays and motels.

Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari

One of the most spectacular North Island attractions is Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari (Maungatautari Ecological Island Reserve), home to the largest ecological restoration project in New Zealand.

Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari is located on Maungatautari Mountain, an extinct volcano in the Waikato region. The mountain is surrounded by 47km of predator-proof fence to protect the native flora and fauna from any predators or pests. This has supported the reintroduction of some of New Zealand’s most extraordinary and most endangered wildlife.

Maungatautari Mountain is also home to some fantastic walking and hiking tracks, which are well planned and maintained. All the Maungatautari walks are graded depending on their difficulty, so walkers can choose to push themselves or take their time and enjoy the spectacular views.

Te Awamutu Museum (Temporarily closed)

The Te Awamutu Museum was established in 1935 and has many exhibitions on the history of Te Awamutu and the wider Waikato region. It contains significant Taonga (treasures) from local Māori tribes, including Te Uenuku, a carved post known for its unique design. Te Awamutu Museum is also home to the Te Ara Wai Journeys gallery, a free self-guided tour of culturally significant sites throughout the Waipā district.

Te Ara Wai Journeys

Te Ara Wai Journeys is a free self-guided tour of culturally significant sites throughout the Waipā district. Six different tours will take you on pathways through places of local and national importance, including natural landscapes, battle sites and early settlements in Waipā that formed the community and helped shape New Zealand.

Te Awamutu Rose Gardens

Te Awamutu’s spectacular Rose Gardens have earned the town the title of “Rosetown” of New Zealand.

Situated on Gorst Avenue, the Rose Gardens attract thousands of visitors every year. There are over 2,500 rose bushes, with more than 50 varieties. The flowers bloom from November to May, creating a kaleidoscope of colour.

Walk around Lake Ngaroto or Lake Serpentine

Just a short 10 minute drive from Te Awamutu, you can find Lake Ngaroto, one of the largest peat lakes in the Waikato. This lake is one of the best places in the Waikato region to experience New Zealand’s natural wetland environment and the plants and animals that live there. Lake Ngaroto also offers lots of exciting activities for those who like outdoor sports, including yachting, canoeing and rowing. 

Located south of Ohaupo between Hamilton and Te Awamutu, Lake Serpentine (Lake Rotopiko) offers two easy loop walks, each about 15 minutes on gentle terrain.

Alphra Lavender

Alphra Lavender is a free attraction, located only 8km south of Te Awamutu, Waikato.

Open to the public from December to February on weekends only, the best time to visit the lavender farm is from early November, when the flowers are in bloom. People come from all over the world during this time to take in some of the prettiest views in the Waikato.

Walks around the lavender fields can be arranged, and tours give you the opportunity to learn about how the farm operates - from planting and harvesting to processing and product creation. Lavender products, made on the farm, are available to purchase from the gift shop.

Te Awamutu Space Centre

Te Awamutu Space Centre is an inspiring educational attraction for all ages where you can experience the world of space and astronomy through displays, audio-visual media and interactive activities.

Pick your Own Blueberries

Visit New Zealand’s largest Blueberry orchard, Blueberry Country, located north of Te Awamutu, near Ōhaupō and pick your own blueberries (in season) or enjoy a delicious blueberry ice cream in the on-site café.

Pick your own berries - Waikato NZ

Regent Theatre

Te Awamutu’s cinema, the Regent Theatre, is renowned throughout the country for being one of a very small number of high-quality provincial cinemas. The Theatre first opened on 12 March 1932 and in addition to an all-round movie experience, there is also an impressive collection of movie memorabilia lining walls and foyer, taking one back to the early days of New Zealand cinema.

Visit Pirongia

Just 12km from Te Awamutu, on the banks of the Waipā, sits the heartland town of Pirongia. The township is located beneath the beautiful Mt Pirongia, and boasts a range of great activities and attractions. Read more about things to do in Pirongia.