How far to:
Hamilton: 30 kms, 30 mins
Auckland: 151 kms, 2 hours
Rotorua: 120km, 1.5 hour
Te Ara Wai Journeys & The Pirongia Heritage and Information Centre
Just 12km from Te Awamutu, Pirongia is located on SH39, a popular driving route that threads its way through the Waikato region on the western side of the mighty Waikato River
For visitors keen to learn about Pirongia’s past, there is The Pirongia Heritage and Information Centre and Te Ara Wai Journeys, a self-guided tour of culturally significant sites throughout the Waipā district that includes Pirongia and surrounds.
There are many top walking spots near Pirongia, including the popular Pirongia Forest Park that envelops the maunga, the extinct volcano of Mount Pirongia, which overlooks the village and surrounding farmland.
A variety of trails, ranging from easy family-friendly excursions to more challenging, lead through the native forest making this a popular hiking and biking destination.
For panoramic views, hike to the summit where Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari can be seen across the plains, while further in the distance there are the mountain peaks of Taranaki, Tongariro, and Ruapehu are all visible in the distance.
There are also the Kaniwhaniwha Caves to be explored.
Early Māori populated the area, drawn by its convenient geographical location with the Waipā River providing a transport route as well as being a rich food source.
Originally named Alexandra after the then Princess of Wales, in the mid-1860s Waikato Land War Pirongia became a military post and is where Māori King Tawhiao and his followers symbolically laid down their arms near the intersection of Crozier and Franklin streets and declared peace, signaling an end to the armed conflict in the region.
Pirongia Craft Day
Pirongia has a thriving community of artists and craftspeople who draw their inspiration from the beauty and diversity of this scenic region.
Artists welcome visitors to their studios and workshops by appointment while amongst the other ways to meet them and purchase works are at the Pirongia Market, held on the last Sunday of each month, and the annual Pirongia Craft Day held each September when the town fills with people who come from far and wide to peruse the selection of arts and craftwork as well as other treasures including fresh produce, plants and food, as well as the entertainment.
Pirongia Market, held on the last Sunday of each month, has a great community vibe and offers a good range of locally grown fruit and vegetables, other food products, arts and crafts and more.
Mt Pirongia Mountain Bike Trails
Nestled in the foothills of Mt Pirongia, the Sainsbury Road Forest Trails are part of the Pirongia Mountain Bike Club’s network of mountain biking trails.