RegionAll The Coromandel Bay of Plenty Tairāwhiti Gisborne Hawke's Bay Ruapehu Taupo Rotorua Waikato
Hamilton City is one of the nation’s best spots for café culture and boasts many award-winning restaurants and eateries. Dine with a view of the mighty Waikato River at Gothenburg or head to the new Victoria on the River precinct which is home to Bahn-Mi, Mr Pickles and Duck Island Ice Cream.
Just outside Waitomo Village is the Mangapohue Natural Bridge.With a 17m high limestone arch; the remains of an ancient cave system. Take an easy 5 minute stroll along the boardwalk as it weaves its way through the impressive limestone gorge bringing you underneath the stunning natural bridge. You can then continue along the track for a 20 minute loop walk that takes in superb views of the natural bridge and gorge, stalactite-like formations, farmland and 25 million year old fossilised oysters that are exposed in the limestone outcrops.
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. The sight from the viewing platform is spectacular – water plunges 153 meters over the falls, before forming little streamlets that flow through moss covered rocks and ferns. You can continue on to reach the top where you will be rewarded with spectacular views across the Waikato landscape.
The native forest and birdlife of the Hakarimata Range provides the perfect setting for a day out in one of the Waikato region’s most beautiful landscapes. Located in the town Ngaruawahia, the ranges include 1,850 hectares of native forest protected in Hakarimata Scenic Reserve. A walk in the reserve will reward you with babbling streams, picturesque waterfalls and impressive views over the surrounding countryside. The summit track features the infamous stair climb, a popular challenge amongst locals.
Only 15 minutes’ drive from Raglan, the spectacular 55-metre-high Bridal Veil Falls, also known as the Wairēinga Falls is a popular Waikato walking track. The Wairēinga/Bridal Veil Falls walk is an easy 10 minute walk through native bush, following the Pakoka River for most of the way, to two viewing platforms at the top, both providing stunning vistas and ample photo opportunities of the plunging white falls flanked by grey rock and green bush.
Near Waitomo, Marokopa Falls is an easy 20 minute return walk which passes through native tawa and nikau forest to reach the viewing platform for the falls. At 35m high, the Marokopa falls are said to be one of the most beautiful in the country and are well worth a visit.
The Waikato River is the life blood of the region and a playground for jet boaters, kayakers, rowers and boaties who particularly enjoy getting out on the picturesque hydrolakes such as Lake Karapiro and Arapuni. Take in the river views on a relaxing walk, cycle or on a boat cruise, with multiple access points in the heart of Hamilton CBD.
Te Waihou Walkway is a stunning 4.7km (one way) scenic walk through farmland, along the river and through natural bush to the picturesque Blue Spring. The spring is fed from the Mamaku Plateau where the water takes up to 100 years to filter through; the resulting water is so pure and clean that it produces a beautiful blue colour while being virtually clear.