Check out the Top 11 Waikato Walking Trails, as voted by our Facebook community:
1. Blue Spring at Te Waihou Walkway, Putaruru
The Blue Spring at Te Waihou Walkway is internationally acclaimed with water so pure it supplies around 70% of New Zealand’s bottled water.
Location: Whites Road, Putaruru
2. Hakarimata Summit Track
Venture up to the Hakarimata Summit, 374 metres above sea level, on the Hakarimata Summit Track, which includes the infamous staircase, a popular challenge with both locals and visitors alike.
Location: Brownlee Avenue, Ngaruawahia
3. 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.
Location: Goodwin Road, off Old Te Aroha Road, Te Aroha
4. Kauri Loop Track, Hakarimata Scenic Reserve, North Waikato
View native Kauri trees up close on the Hakarimata Kauri Loop Track. Marvel at these strong, ancient giants of the forest and stroll through a grove of young Kauri, as well as Rimu and Nikau on this picturesque bush walk.
Location: Parker Road, off Hakarimata Road, Ngaruawahia
5. Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari, Te Awamutu
Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari (Maungatautari Ecological Island Reserve) is the largest ecological ‘island’ on mainland New Zealand.
Location: Tari Road, Pukeatua
6. Mt Te Aroha, Te Aroha
From the summit there are 360 degree views across the Waikato and Bay of Plenty regions, and Mt Ruapehu, Mt Ngauruhoe and Mt Taranaki are all visible on a clear day.
Location: Te Aroha Domain, Te Aroha
7. Taitua Arboretum, Hamilton
Featuring lakes, woodland gardens, birdlife and ample picnic spots, all linked by a network of walking tracks, the Taitua Arboretum is perfect for a leisurely weekend stroll, family picnic or more active outing.
Location: Taitua Road, Hamilton
8. Ruakuri Reserve Walk, Waitomo
Based in the Ruakuri Scenic Reserve, a place of strong cultural significance to Maori, the walk includes limestone outcrops, native forest and small caves to be explored.
Location: 4km from Waitomo Village on Tumutumu Road
9. Mt Pirongia Mangakara Nature Walk, Pirongia
Perfect for children, the easy track meanders through ancient forest past large rimu, kahikatea, tawa, pukatea and kohekohe trees and crosses over the Mangakara stream before looping back around.
Location: Grey Road, Pirongia Forest Park, Pirongia
10. Hamilton Lake, Hamilton
An easy trail situated in the heart of Hamilton City, the Hamilton Lake Domain Walkway is popular with both runners and walkers alike.
Location: Ruakiwi Road and Lake Cresent, Hamilton City
11. Mt Pirongia Kaniwhaniwha Caves, Pirongia
This offers the excitement of entering two small caves - the main 20m cave which you can walk through except for a short crawl section, and the smaller cave which is tight and narrow. Don't forget to take a torch.
Location: Limeworks loop Road, Te Pahu