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Te Awa - The Great NZ River Ride

This scenic 60km river ride between Ngāruawāhia and Karapiro, 20km south of the Mighty River Domain at Lake Karapiro. The route weaves through rural and urban landscapes, taking in waterfalls and historic Maori sites as well as trendy shops, cafes and wineries.

Riders can take in the full beauty of the Waikato River with a two hour cycle journey from Hamilton Gardens all the way to Ngāruawāhia and between Cambridge and Lake Karapiro. The track is primarily wide, smooth and largely flat making Te Awa suitable for cyclists of all fitness and experience levels. The full trail stretches along the Waikato River, from Ngāruawāhia in the north to Karapiro in the south.

Bike hire for the Hamilton sections of the trail is available from River Riders who service the entire trail. For more information on bike hire click here.

For more information on the trail visit

At a glance

  • Grade 2 (easy)
  • Distance: 60km
  • Access: This ride can be accessed at various points along the trail.
  • Please note some sections are on the road, see the Te Awa website for more details and maps:
  • Hamilton Gardens to Cambridge section is under construction 


  • River views and a mix of rural and urban landscapes
  • Wide track suitable for social riding
  • Stunning views of Lake Karapiro and a 400m boardwalk around the edge of the lake
  • Perry Bridge - an iconic 120m cycle/walk suspension bridge at Horotiu

Te Awa Walkway

The Te Awa River Ride also includes shared cycle/walkway sections. To view a map of the Te Awa walkway click here