The Waikato region is covers a large area of the upper North Island of New Zealand, stretching from the Tongariro National Park(South) to the Bombay hills (North), from the Western coastline to the Kaimai Range(East)
Rating Hikes and Walks
I have never favoured rating Hikes or Walks by time or difficultly useful, as this is always different from person to person. Instead I prefer a system of the conditions to expect;Hikes;
- Hiking boots or at least walking shoes recommend.
- Tracks are well marked
- Track surface is earth, mud and may include stream crossings
- Mixture of Hills, rough and flat areas.
- Range in length 5 – 20km / 1/2 – Fully day hike
- Training shoes or hiking shoes are fine
- Tracks are well marked and well formed – usually gravelled
- Mostly flat
- Range in length from 2 – 6 km
There will always be some cross over with some tracks being short but steep and muddy.For Hikes and Walks alike, the Track name will contain a link to good information source for the area, which I will remove and replace with the account of “My Hike” when its written.
Waikato Hikes and Walks
- Mt Te Aroha Summit Track (Te Aroha)Hike: 9 -10km Return / All day. My Hike Waikato views on a clear day
- Te Tapui Reserve (Richmond Downs)Hike: 6.3km Circuit / 3-4 hours. Climb to wooden look out tower 180 degree views. Car Park: Gravel 4-5 cars capacity
- Waiorongomai Valley (Te Aroha)Walks: 2-6 hours of tracks in this valley mostly around the gold mining ruins. Alternatively a link hiking track: 6hrs/16km to the summit of Mt Te Aroha and return.(Take a map for this route!) Car Park: Large Gravel with Toilets
- Hakarimata Scenic Reserve (Ngaruawahia) Walks: 2 – 4hrs /2 – 6km. Five walks,(Kauri loop and look out tracks) Car Parks: Northern end(Parker) and Southern end.(Waingaro)
- Hakarimata Walkway (Ngaruawahia)Hike: 6 – 8hrs/ 12km. climbs from the Northern car park to follow a rough track along the ridge line to the Southern Hakarimata Scenic Reserve car park.
- Mt Karori Track(Raglan) Hike: 6 – 8hrs /10km, Starting on the coastal side of Mt Karori, the track climbs including some chains to the look out and then on to the summit. (There is a second shorter track to the summit from the other side via farmland but I prefer the MKT.) Car Park: Large gravel (make sure you check out the viewing platform too!)
- Te Toto Gorge (Raglan) A steep 30 minute track that leads down below the Mt Karori Track car park to the sea… one look from the Car park look out will surely convince you to descend.
- Kaniwhaniwha Tracks (Pirongia) Walks: 2 – 4hrs / 7km, Nikau walk and Kaniwhaniwha Caves Track. Hike: 6hrs / 12km Kahikatea tree Track, all three accessed by the same Car park. Car Park: Large Gravel on two levels
- Hirikiwi Look out (Pirongia) Hike: 9 – 10 km /6 – 8hrs Return, My Hike Car Park: Very Small Grass
- Wharauroa and Mahaukura Summits (Pirongia)Route Map, Hike: 9km / 4 – 6 hrs Return. Climb to dual summits and return. Car Park: Large gravel car park and Toilets
- Kaitarakihi (no DoC information see bottom right map) (Coromandel)Hike: 8km/ 6 – 8hrs Return. Climb up a ridge line the Summit. Well marked but despite be careful on corners as it can be easy to walk off the track. Car park: Small gravel car park road side
- Blue Springs (Putaruru) Walk: 9.5km / 3hrs Return. Track follows the incredibly clear Waihou stream to the Springs. Lookout, picnic area and toilets at the springs. No swimming. Car park: Large car park and toilets
- Karanghake Gorge walks (Karanghake Gorge) Walks: 3 x 2.5 – 7 / 1- 4hrs , exploring the former rail and gold sites in the gorge, including the stunning Windows walk. Car park: Large car park, picnic area, toilet block and information board .
- Karangahake Mountain(Karanghake Gorge) Hike: 12km / 4 – 5hrs return. Well worth the climb for fantastic view over the gorge. Car park: Large car park, information board
- Billy Goat Track(Kauaeranga Valley) Route Map, Hike: 11km /4-6 hrs Circuit. Plenty of hills views and history, now including a washed out bridge – significant river crossing. Car park: Large gravelled(for return including road walking, or park second car roadside by river crossing.)
- Pinnacles Track(Kauaeranga Valley) Hike: Day Hike: 6-10 hrs or Overnight: (Pinnacles hut)3-4 hrs one way. Climbing to the hut and if the weather / visibility is clear always head the extra 40 mins. to the summit or you may never see the view.(visibility and temperature changes fast all year round) Car Park: Large Gravelled