Meander alongside the Waikato River or get the pulse racing climbing to an inspirational mountain top view. There is everything from gentle jaunts on well laid out tracks to more ambitious hikes including overnight hut stays – and it's all easily accessible.
Climb Every Mountain
You don’t need to be super fit to enjoy super views in the Hamilton & Waikato region. The region’s high points have breathtaking vistas, whether that’s the rich green farming countryside spread below you like a checked tablecloth, or the distant sight of snow-capped mountains to the south.
Forty minutes south of Hamilton, Sancturary Mountain Maungatautari (Maungatautari Ecological Reserve) has extra interest from the many native bird species being released and nurtured in the mountain predator free environment. The summit walk takes five or six hours while shorter walks in the southern enclosure virtually guarantee a view of endangered New Zealand bird species, now beginning to thrive in the area.
Looking for something different? Te Aroha’s namesake mountain has fine walks and views and the bonus of hot pools at its base to soothe aching muscles afterwards, while at the other end of the region Pureora Forest Park offers some serious tramping and the sight of the buried forest, created by a violent Lake Taupo eruption 1800 years ago.
New Zealand’s national walkway, Te Araroa (Long Pathway), passes through the region, taking in an historic walk at Mercer, farmland from Waitomo to Te Kuiti and most spectacularly a traverse of Mt Pirongia including the summit. Meanwhile, the Hakarimata Range near Ngaruawahia in the north of the region (also part of Te Araroa) offers visitors the chance to get up close with a fine stand of kauri trees.
You’ll never be far from clear mountain streams on the likes of Pirongia, and waterfall walks are scattered through the region, including the spectacular and aptly named Bridal Veil Falls near Raglan and the Wairere Falls near Matamata. Marvel at South Waikato’s Blue Spring at Te Waihou Walkway, with its stunning crystal clear and bright blue water due to the optical purity of the water or simply walk along the banks of the Waikato River and marvel at its flow.
Download a copy of the Hamilton & Waikato Walking Trails Brochure
The Hamilton & Waikato Walkinge Trails Brochure includes location details, highlights, general trail information and much more for the top walking trails in the Hamilton & Waikato region. Download a copy of the walking trails brochure here.
On Your Bike
The region is heaven for cyclists, whether on or off road. Home to cycling greats such as Olympic gold medalist Sarah Ulmer, the Hamilton & Waikato cycleways range from quiet country roads to a variety of mountain biking tracks including three of the New Zealand Great Rides. For more on cycleways in the regions visit our Hamilton & Waikato cycle trails