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Walking & Hiking Trails

From casual strolls along the river to overnight bush excursions and winding mountain tracks the Hamilton & Waikato region has a variety of great walking trails to suit everyone.

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.

A local’s guide to walking & hiking trails in Waikato, NZ

A local’s guide to walking & hiking trails in Waikato, NZ

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

Walking Trails in Hamilton & Waikato


  • Walks on Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari, Te Awamutu, NZ.jpg

    Top 10 Waikato Walking Trails

    From easy strolls through picturesque surrounds, to challenging stair climbs with rewarding mountaintop views and stunning waterfall finds, there are plenty of great Waikato walks to enjoy.
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    Mangapohue Natural Bridge Waitomo

    A short drive from Waitomo Village is the Mangapohue Natural Bridge - the remains of an ancient cave system which now stands as a stunning natural bridge.
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    Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari

    Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari is a haven for native wildlife and plants such as kiwi, kokako (wattlebird), tuatara and more, Maungatautari also provides great walking and hiking tracks.
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    Waiorongomai Valley Te Aroha

    The Waiorongomai Valley in Te Aroha is a significant gold mining area in the Kaimai Mamaku Forest Park which offers numerous walking trails taking in key historic mining sites.
  • Bridal veil falls, Raglan, New Zealand.jpg

    Bridal Veil Falls Raglan

    Only 15 minutes’ drive from Raglan, the spectacular 55-metre-high Bridal Veil Falls, also known as the Waireinga Falls is a popular Waikato walking track.
  • Wairere Falls, Matamata, New Zealand.jpg

    Wairere Falls Matamata

    Just 10 minutes’ drive from Matamata, the Wairere Falls is the highest waterfall in the North Island and a popular walking track in the Waikato.
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    Mangaokewa Scenic Reserve Te Kuiti

    The Mangaokewa Scenic Reserve is home to great tramping and walking trails along with areas for other recreational activities.
  • Blue Spring at Te Waihou Walkway, Putaruru, NZ.jpg

    Blue Spring - Te Waihou Walkway

    The Blue Spring at Te Waihou Walkway has water so pure it supplies around 70% of New Zealand’s bottled water.
  • Mt Karioi, Raglan, New Zealand.JPG

    Mt Karioi Raglan

    Mt Karioi is a forest-clad extinct volcano, surrounded by lush Waikato farmland on one side and the Tasman Sea on the other.
  • Mt Pirongia, Te Awamutu, New Zealand.JPG

    Mt Pirongia Forest Park

    With a range of trails to choose from the Pirongia walks provide a rejuvenating experience amongst lush native forest and clear mountain streams.
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