in the Waikato
Hours24 hours, Seven days a week
Cost and BookingFree
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.