Going out and having fun in and around Hamilton doesn't need to cost. There's plenty on offer for free which will keep you, your family and friends entertained and having fun - from river walks, bike rides and bush walks around the city.
Hamilton’s walking route has been developed over many years. Hamilton City has an extensive network of walking routes across parks, through gullies, alongside the Waikato River and on roads.
The walking map shows all of the routes currently available in Hamilton. The map key shows where routes can be found on both parks and roads, and that while some routes are for shared use (walking and cycling) others are for walking or cycling alone. Please use the routes as indicated.
The Waikato has a huge range of bush walks and tramps varying in length and degree of fitness required. Outside the city leisure walkers enjoy the Bridal Veil Falls (Raglan), Marokopa Falls (Waitomo), Lake Ngaroto (Te Awamutu), Waikato River Trail (South Waikato) and the Te Waihou Walkway.
The largest forest park, Mount Pirongia (959m), has tracks to satisfy all fitness levels. Other common destinations for trampers are Mount Te Aroha (952m), Hakarimata Range and the Kaimai-Mamaku Range, where the 153m Wairere Falls are found. All are administered by the Department of Conservation. Mount Maungatautari (797m) has a track to its summit. Similar to many bush reserves in NZ, only a fraction of the native wildlife (eg kiwi) can be observed today, because introduced pests have destroyed them. The Maungatautari Ecological Island Trust is building a 47-kilometre pest-proof fence around the mountain, and bringing the native species back to their home. Lake Arapuni (9.4 km) is often used for trout fishing, water skiing, boating and swimming, and Lake Karapiro (7.7km), formed by the last of eight hydroelectric dams on the Waikato River, is now a premier venue for kayaking, rowing, dragon boat racing, hydroplanes, swimming and water skiing.
The Department of Conservation provides information on walking and tramping/hiking tracks. Local tramping clubs also run day and overnight bush walks and tramps and welcome new members.
- Department of Conservation Waikato tracks
- Maungatautari Ecological Trust
- Waikato Tramping Club
- Hamilton Tramping Club
- Wanderers Tramping Club (Carol Davies phone 07 855 5684)
- Safety information
Taking care on Hamilton's Park Routes
Hamilton's gullies and parkland provide great opportunities to escape busy city life. The riverside routes are for both walkers and cyclists and cycling is also allowed on designated routes across some parks. Cyclists and walkers are urged to share the routes with care by having consideration for each other. Walkers are urged to keep to one side of the routes, especially on corners so cyclists can pass safely. Cyclists are reminded that all park routes intended for cycling are for recreational cycling only, and are urged to give ample friendly warning when approaching walkers from behind. Racing, mountain biking and any cycling involving speed on these routes is not permitted.
Always walk or cycle with others. Hamilton's wonderful river and gully routes are best shared with friends. Organise a group of friends to go walking and check out the sights together. Some of the walking and cycling routes share or cross roadways. Be careful when approaching or using these roadways - look out for motor vehicles and be prepared to give way at any time. Cyclists are advised to always wear a helmet.
The cycle map shows all of the routes currently available in Hamilton. The map key shows where routes can be found on both parks and roads, and that while some routes are for shared use (walking and cycling) others are for walking or cycling alone. Please use the routes as indicated.
The Waikato region offers not only magnificent cycling routes, but also world class mtb and bmx tracks.