Te Awamutu

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Nestled amongst peat lakes and fertile farmland, the town of Te Awamutu, Waikato, is one of the region’s hidden gems. Known as the ‘town of roses’ and surrounded by lush farmland, Te Awamutu (which in English means “The Rivers End”), is a significant contributor to the region's prosperous dairy industry.

Destination Te Awamutu

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.

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.

The area has a rich history with several significant Waikato War sites, including one of the most famous at Ōrākau just outside Kihikihi. Te Ara Wai Journeys, a free self-guided tour of culturally significant sites throughout the Waipā district, offers a great way to explore places of local and national importance. A great place to start your journey or visit afterwards, Te Awamutu’s museum showcases the history of the area and houses Uenuku, an important taonga (treasure) of the Tainui people. More recent heritage is also on record with regularly changing displays.

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 Museum

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.

Walk around Lake Ngaroto or Lake Serpentine

Walking enthusiasts will enjoy the many walking trails on offer around the township, such as the Lake Ngaroto wetlands 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 popular attraction, located only 8km south of Te Awamutu.

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 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.

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.

Te Awamutu also boasts some great shopping options, with boutique clothing stores, antiques and more on offer. Te Awamutu cafes and bakeries are ideal for a lazy lunch such as the award-winning Viands Bakery in the street of Kihikihi. The summer farmer's markets provide the perfect opportunity to sample some of the locally grown produce and you can pick your own berries straight from the bush at one of the Blueberry farms from November to March. 

Top activities in Te Awamutu

top pick Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari
from
$11.5
Te Awamutu

Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari

Step through the pest-proof gate into another world, where an ancient forest tower majestically above well-maintained walking tracks and the air is filled with birdsong. Explore the Sanctuary at your own pace or with an experienced guide who will help you spot the wildlife, including Kākā, takahē, tuatara, kiwi, tīeke and more. Relax in the clearing or take an optional walk up the 16-metre observation tower, offering a unique perspective from within the forest canopy. Sanctuary Mountain is located in the heart of the Waikato, and as a not-for-profit, every visit helps make our conservation efforts possible. So come and share the mauri and mana of Maungatautari. You will come away enriched and enlightened by this spectacular environment.
top pick Rotor Work
from
$400
Te Awamutu

Waikato Helicopter Experiences

Gather up friends or family and treat yourself to your own personal helicopter flight to your destination of choice. Travel to a destination of your choice in a helicopter via a scenic route. Relax and soak up the local attractions and eateries followed by a return flight.
top pick Te Awamutu Museum
Free
Te Awamutu

Te Awamutu Museum

Te Awamutu Museum Education & Research Centre is situated in Waipā district, within Waikato. A touchpoint for visitors to learn local history, social development and bi-cultural collaborations between Māori and settlers from 1823, through amazing objects and engaging stories. Understand the reasons why British soldiers invaded the Waikato 1863, the locations, who was involved, and its impact on the Waipā communities that are still being felt today. Do you know about Te Ara Wai Journeys? Start your journey with us. We also have our collections online.
top pick Kowhai Forge
from
$149
Te Awamutu

Kowhai Forge Blacksmithing Courses

Your tutor, Rob, is one of the true time served Blacksmiths in New Zealand. Rob teaches with lots of enthusiasm and Kiwi humor, so you know you’ll have a great time! His passion, skill, and deep understanding this fascinating skill ensures you a truly authentic experience into the world of Blacksmithing in New Zealand. Situated in the beautiful central North Island, the blacksmith forge is set in perfect environment for inspiration and creativity! Fantastic year round - in the summer months the large forge doors are opened to let the sunshine in and in the winter months you will be cozy and warm inside by the coal fire.
top pick
Free
Ōhaupō

Mystery Creek Events Centre

A beautiful turn-of-the-century church, a picturesque setting, flexible and comfortable reception lounges, and great places for photos – the historic Heritage Village at Mystery Creek Events Centre is the perfect wedding venue. With its cobbled terraces overlooking the lake and village, The Bledisloe caters for al fresco entertaining, while it’s inside reception areas can be adapted to suit either intimate or extensive wedding parties. To help make your day the best it can be the Mystery Creek events management team are on hand to help with anything from pre-planning to looking after guests and catering.
top pick Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari
from
$26
Te Awamutu

Sanctuary Mountain Ancient Forest Guided Tour

This leisurely paced tour takes place in striking pest-free native forest dominated by towering tawa, rewarewa, pukatea, rimu and a wide variety of characteristic ferns. You will stand at the foot of a mature northern rata in the heart of the sanctuary and see the coalesced mass of roots that form the trunks of these magnificent trees. You’ll listen to the birdsong, take in the majesty of our indigenous forest and try to spot the numerous bird species that call the maunga their home. Spend time in the clearing where cheeky New Zealand forest parrots - the kākā - like to hang out then take an optional walk up the viewing tower for a unique perspective of the forest canopy from above.
top pick Te Awamutu isite
Free
Te Awamutu

Te Awamutu isite Visitor Information Centre

The Te Awamutu isite Visitor Centre is part of New Zealand's official nationwide Visitor Information Network. Plan your stay in Te Awamutu with our friendly isite team. With four mountains of fun and lakes right on our doorstep, we offer fantastic walks with an abundance of birdlife. Try Maungatautari After Dark to experience native bush at night and hear the kiwi's call. New Zealand National Fieldays is just a 15 minute drive from our place at Mystery Creek Event Centre. Our rural farming community, mixed with walking and cycling tracks, Boutique Bed and Breakfasts, shopping and events. Come and visit.
top pick Luxury Tours Of New Zealand
from
$500
Ōhaupō

Cruise Ship Excursion, Port of Tauranga

Bay of Plenty has so much to offer. We meet you dockside at the Port of Tauranga and leave you back there for sailing. Our trips are 6-7 hours in an air conditioned Mercedes vehicle. Water and snacks are complimentary. Here are just some of the attractions you can consider including : Rotorua the cultural capital of New Zealand. Includes geothermal wonderlands and maori performances. Beautiful lakes, geysers and boiling mud pools Waitomo Caves with its glowing larvae. Guided walks, canoe rides or abseiling trips are available Hobitton is a film set that was used in Lord of The Rings film trilogy and The Hobbit film series. A 2 hour guided tour that includes a complimentary beverage to conclude your tour Wine tasting at Mills Reef
top pick Rotor Work
from
$400
Te Awamutu

Waikato Helicopter Tours

The Waikato offers a mixture of picturesque coastlines and stunning farmlands. Experience the magnificent feeling of flying over some of New Zealand’s best scenery, whether it’s the breathtaking coastlines, including the surf famous black sandy beaches of Raglan, the untouched beauty of the rugged west coast, or flying above the Waikato river trails. Take a ride with our experienced helicopter pilot, Sam. He has close to 2,500 hours of flying of highly skilful agricultural and commercial operations. The HQ Rotor Work base in Kihikihi currently operates an AS350, a stable, high performance helicopter with comfortable seating for 5 passengers.
top pick Dave Owen
from
$8
Te Awamutu

Te Awamutu Space Centre

Te Awamutu Space Centre is an inspiring educational attraction for all ages. Experience the world of space and astronomy through displays and interactive activities. Our centrepiece exhibit is a small but fascinating collection of artifacts from the American and Russian space programmes. You'll find informative displays about the Universe, the history of space exploration and scientific research. Use the interactive screens to see what's in the night sky, tour the Solar System, create your own orbital systems and more. Watch videos, ask us questions and just hang out chatting about space. See our website for details and opening hours.
top pick Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari
from
$75
Te Awamutu

Sanctuary Mountain At Night

Upon the setting sun, your experienced guide will take you through the pest-proof fence to experience the nocturnal forest wonders. Marvel at the twinkling lights of glowworms, see the brilliance of the undersides of silver fern fronds and gaze up at the stars from the top of the tower on a crystal clear night, away from the bright lights of the city. Search by torchlight for spiders, millipedes, beetles and the many species of wētā that venture out at night in search of food. Keep an eye out for the many native birds coming in to roost and discover the Sanctuary's important role as a kiwi stronghold as you listen for their distinctive, piercing calls along with the two-pitched call of the ruru (morepork).

Top accommodation in Te Awamutu

top pick
from
$575
Maungatautari

The Lakehouse at Takapoto Estate

The pantry and fridge are stocked with breakfast items that were produced and harvested from the Estate's own chickens, bees, Angus beef, vineyard, olive trees and market garden, making for a truly unique and memorable experience.

Whether you're looking to relax and take in the natural beauty of the surroundings or explore all that the region has to offer, The Lakehouse is the perfect place to stay.

top pick Berry View Cottage
from
$160
Te Awamutu

Berry View Cottage Waikato

Central to all Waikato attractions. Private guest accommodation with sweeping country vistas. Great location for trips to Waitomo Caves (40min), Hobbiton (45min), Hamilton Gardens (25min), Hamilton Airport (15min), Lake Karapiro watersports (20min) 5 mins to Te Awamutu township (restaurants, supermarkets, pools). Eat fresh berries or ice cream at the farm next door. The renovated cottage is fully self contained with kitchen, bathroom & two bedrooms plus an outdoor decking area and safe off street parking. Amenities include EV charging, free WIFI, A/C, fully equipped kitchen, cooktop, convection oven/ microwave, fridge/ freezer, filtered water supply, TV, hairdryer, nightlight, cot & highchair. Enquire via email or phone for direct bookings.
top pick Canopy Camping Escapes
from
$350
Pirongia

Canopy Camping Escapes | Rua Hiwi Hut

Rua Hiwi Hut is located 40 minutes from Hamilton, on a picturesque dry stock farm in the Waikato Hills. The super-stylish hut oozes a moody and cosy atmosphere. The interior includes a luxurious king-size bed, ensuite bathroom, and kitchenette. Let the warmth of the wood burner and music from the surround sound system set the relaxing mood for the evening. Then soak in the super wide luxurious outdoor tub to end your day perfectly. With its serene atmosphere, stunning vistas, and unforgettable sunrises, Rua Hiwi Hut is the perfect escape from the daily grind.
top pick Management
from
$125
Te Awamutu

Out in the Styx Guest House

Out in the Styx is a unique rural retreat in New Zealand's central North Island less than one hours drive from Rotorua and Waitomo Caves. We have a drop off service for the NZ National Cycleway. Enjoy comfortable accommodation on 4.5 acres of privately owned farmland. We adjoin 'Sanctuary Mountain', Maungatautari, New Zealand’s largest bird restoration project, a 47km pest proof fence surrounding 3500 hectares of full canopy virgin forest. There are many easy tracks and a 16mtr observation tower on our side of the mountain. Out in the Styx includes a fully licensed cafe with panoramic views, relaxed indoor/outdoor dining for intimate groups or large gatherings. Small conferences, special occasions, ethnic food and events are a speciality
top pick ASURE Albert Park Motor Lodge
from
$145
Te Awamutu

ASURE Albert Park Motor Lodge

Welcome to ASURE Albert Park Motor Lodge. We have 15 spacious units (Studios, 1 Bedroom Spa Units & 2 Bedroom Spa Units) which are all fully wheelchair accessible and have free wireless broadband and MYSky TV with 60+ Channels. From studio units to two bedroom spa bath units we can cater for a variety of travellers - from sports teams to corporates to couples - and we are well equipped for families with a portacots and high-chairs available if required.
top pick Jean
from
$100
Te Awamutu

Strathallan B&B

A small holding with Purebred Suffolk sheep, horses and cattle. New home set up for home hosting with 3 double bedrooms downstairs and a private lounge with outdoor decking and a fully self contained unit . It is a developing garden with outstanding elevated rural views. We can supply meals on request. We look forward to welcoming guests and sharing our local knowledge. We have experience in many types of farming having been involved in the Thoroughbred Industry, Dairy and Drystock farming. Keen conservationists and have experienced having Kiwis on their farm when farming in Northland. We are in close proximity to Sanctuary Mountain ,Hobbiton, Lake Karapiro, Polo, River trails, ... A warm friendly greeting assured.
top pick Essene Country Lodge
from
$180
Ōhaupō

Essene Country Lodge

Essene Country Lodge offers a satisfying escape to the countryside, complete with horses, cows, pukekoes, a stream to walk to feed eels - see folder and two resident chooks Mrs Confetti and Pickles. The spacious 2 bedroom apartment is carefully positioned on 1.6 hectres of heritage land fully surrounded in mature trees. The apartment is fully equipped to service 2 couples or a couple with two children. Essene Country Lodge offers the ulitmate peace, privacy and tranquility for all travellers and weekend explorers. With various outdoor areas including a purposely-built seated area around a brazier, perfect for a small family who value the outdoors in a relaxed country setting. Your pets are welcome. Plenty of free parking.