Last updated 7th September, 2020
Te Aroha Area
Howarth Memorial Wetland Loop Walk (45 minute loop)
Access is from the car park to the right just over the bridge on the way to Hamilton. Or via the footbridge at end of Lawrence Ave or by boardwalk at Kenwyn Reserve on Kenrick St.
A flat, easy walk around the wetland and bird sanctuary. The path follows the Waihou River through one section. Ideal for an early morning or evening walk. NOTE: The swamp cypresses and deciduous trees provide a stunning spread of Autumn colours.
The following walks all start from beside the Baths and Summit Track entrance.
Lower Domain Walk (20min one way)
Beginning at the Mokena Geyser this is a lovely short bush walk suitable for pushchair/wheelchair access. Pass the No.20 – iron spring and No.21 – magnesia spring and finish at the Te Aroha Leisure Pools.
Upper Domain Walk (25min one way)
This walk begins on the Whakapipi (Bald Spur) track and features a large kauri tree. You then branch off to the right past an old water reservoir, through the bush and link up with the Lower Domain Walk at the No.21 magnesia spring.
Reservoir Loop Walk (25 min return)
Follow the Tui Domain track and detour to the No.22 spring . Continue up around the old town reservoir and return to Domain.
Off the Raglan road – Turn into Howden Rd, then left on to Taitua Rd.
The arboretum covers an area of approximately 22 hectares of open pastures, trees and lakes and there are more than 1500 species of indigenous and exotic trees and shrubs, including several varieties of fruit trees. There are many easy walking trails, which can be extended by walking to Till's lookout with good views over the Waikato.
Tree lovers John and Bunny Mortimore began planting and developing their block west of Hamilton in 1973. In 1997 they gifted the arboretum to the city council which continues their vision of on-going development of the site.
Woodlands Homestead Gardens Gordonton Hamilton
Whitikahu Rd, Gordonton, just east of the Taupiri junction.
Short, easy walks through 8 acres of formal gardens. The gardens are open to the public seven days per week all year round - 10am to 4pm - except on Public Holidays The café is open Wednesday - Sunday 10am to 4pm.in summer and Friday, Saturday and Sunday ONLY in the winter.
Entry to the Gardens is free, however a gold coin donation is appreciated in donation boxes placed around the gardens.
Woodlands Homestead is open Tuesday - Sunday 10am-4pm. Entry to the Homestead is $3 and Includes a multi-media presentation of the history of Woodlands.
Pukemokemoke Bush Loop Track
Time: 1 hr 30 min circuit (to really do justice to this place you will need much longer)
Off Whitikahu - Tauhei road 10kms east of Woodlands Gardens.
The reserve is administered by the Pukemokemoke Bush Trust on behalf of Waikato District Council
From the car park, cross the bridge and take the left hand track leading up to the summit. There are nine sites along the track which are marked and are of special interest, (including an old pa site along a side track - this is currently closed [as at 4th August] with information signs marking all the features) As well, over 300 native plants species are found in the bush including matai, totara, kauri, kanuka and kahikatea.
The climb to the summit lookout platform is rewarded with spectacular views of the Waikato. Return via the N.E. Track along the ridge or take the Log Hauler Track from the junction lower down the Summit Track. In the large clearing at the Log Hauler site is a shelter and several information panels. From there it is a 5 minute walk back to the car park.
Several other tracks lead from this area, the most interesting one a narrow track leading down towards the stream, then along that to the Northern end of the reserve. This features many labelled trees, has a few board walks and at the far end, joins the NE Track that climbs up to the summit. Part of the way up the hill, a track on the left returns to the Log Hauler Site
NOTE: The car park and access road are prone to flooding in very wet weather.
Maungakawa Scenic Reserve and
Gudex Memorial Park
From Victoria St take Thornton Rd. The turn off to Thornton Rd is just north of the intersection of Highway 1 and Victoria St. The reserve is 9 km and approximately 15 minutes drive east of Cambridge. Follow Thornton Rd until it becomes Maungakawa Rd, then continue along there to the top of the hill, and turn right into Gudex Rd.
An easy, well signposted 40 minute loop walk through bush starts from the second car park, or continue to the end of the road where open park land near the summit gives extensive views of the Waikato and Hauraki Plains and on clear days Ruapehu and Taranaki are visible.
Lake Te Ko Utu Park.
The lake car park is off Albert St at the bottom of the hill.
A series of short walks formed by 2 loop tracks, one down beside the lake, the other around the rim. Several link tracks join the two at intervals around the perimeter.
A 90 minute to two hour walk can be had by linking a series of short walkways along the banks of the Karapiro Stream and the Waikato River. Apart from a few short sections of road, most of these tracks are out of sight of suburbia and surrounded by trees or grassy clearings. The Cambridge Tree Trust built and maintains these tracks and has an ongoing planting project.
Access from Te Ko Utu Park is not that obvious. To find the start, walk south along Albert St, left into to Queen St, right into Oliver St and along to Gillies St. Opposite the end of Oliver St. is a Tree Trust sign, and to your left by a car park is another sign by a gate. Go through the gate and down the formed road behind the joinery factory.
The path turns right from here to go down the hill. This section, known as 'Ann’s Patch’, is named after Dr. Ann Pearson, who began the work of clearing and planting it on her own. It is a short track, and comes out by the main road. It is shared with mountain bikers.
Once at the main road follow the path down to and under the bridge over the Karapiro Stream, to join a short section of gravel road by the Waikato River. At the far end of this road, the Settler's Track begins (it is sign posted), and follows the river downstream, ducking under Victoria Bridge. Continue along this to end in an open area between Hall St and the river that is currently under development. The Te Awa River Trail starts from the far end of this area.
Return same way but veer left at the junction and go under the Victoria Bridge. There are steps up to the bridge, cross that and turn left to pick up the path that follows the river upstream. Initially high above the river, the path drops to river level, then climbs to cross over the Waikato and Karapiro Rivers. From here you pick up ‘Ann’s Patch’ again on the other side of the road to return to the lake. It is safer to loop left and return under the bridge than cross the busy main road.
Lake Hakanoa Walkway
Huntly Domain, off Wight Street.
Flat, easy 4km loop. 0.45 mins. Surface is mostly gravel.
The walkway has been divided into 13 zones, each with its own separate and different identity. The 13 zones are as follows:
The Walkway Entrance, Huntly College Native Tree Reserve, Seibu Bunri Gardens – Japanese Garden- , McMillan Walk, WEL Energy Trust Global Gardens, Environment Waikato Wildlife Gardens, Palm Beach, Contemporary Maori Garden, The Green Cathedral , Ponga Grove and The Huntly Domain. Some further development is continuing with other zones.
Hakarimata Range (North End)
Start from the car park at the end of Parker Rd (which is off River View Rd south of Huntly). There is a toilet a short way up the track.
A nice loop walk (if you don't mind a lot of steps) to a lookout high above the Waikato River. Moderate fitness required.
The easiest way to the top is go anticlockwise past two large Kauri trees. The junction is about 10 minutes up the track. Continue past the kauri to a nice grove of smaller kauri saplings and rickers, after which the real climbing begins. Near the top, the return track branches left, but continue a short distance to a cleared area from where views can be had north to Huntly and beyond, west to the Kaimai Ranges and south east to Taupiri Mountain. Directly below is the Waikato River. From near the lookout a track heads south to another lookout and the far end of the range, but this is rough tramping track only suitable for expereinced, fit trampers.
Old Reservoir Track
Access - Brownlee Ave, by the waterworks in Ngaruawahia. There is a car park and toilets.
Description - From the car park, take the well signposted track a few metres up the road. The track follows a pretty gully through mossy bush and is gravelled but can be wet after rain. A few hundred metres along, the track climbs steeply via steps to the old concrete dam. The reservoir is now silted up and shallow, but there is a nice wee waterfall just upstream of the dam. About 40 minutes return.
NOTE: Part way up the above steps the track to the summit lookout tower branches right, but this is not for the unfit - there are approximately 1400 steps up this very steep climb.
Te Awamutu (Details of the following walks to be added in due course)
Jim Barnett Reserve
Maungatautari Southern Enclosure
Access - From end of Tari Rd, Pukeatua.