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road trip

PURAU LOOPS
4.5km to 6km or 2 to 3 hours, depending on loop choosen
4.5km to 6km or 2 to 3 hours, depending on loop choosen
Dogs under effective control on tracks, leads on roads
Highlights & map overview
  • Harbor views
  • Native bush
  • Remote beach

Optional text

Walks or attractions nearby
  • Cafes
  • Orton Bradley Park
  • Stoddard Cottage

Optional text

PURAU LOOPS
Highlights & map overview
  • Harbor views
  • Native bush
  • Remote beach

Optional text test route

Walks or attractions nearby
  • Cafes
  • Orton Bradley Park
  • Stoddard Cottage

Optional text

WALKING TRACK GRADE
Easy access short walk suitable for all fitness levels, wheelchair accessible
Easy short flat walk
Easy short walk on firm track, some parts up and down
Easy hiking firm track
Hiking track mostly unformed with direction markers, up and down hill
Experienced hiking track, rough with no markers
Shared walk, bike trail care required
Fairly flat, wide, smooth track or gravel road
Mostly flat with some gentle climbs on smooth track with easily avoidable obstacles such as rocks and potholes.
ANIMALS
Dogs on leash only
No dogs
DOGS WITH DOC PERMIT ONLY ALLOWED
SHELTER TOILETS
Picnic shelter
Stop kauri dieback and protect kauri
Kauri dieback spreads through soil.
  • Scrub all soil off shoes and gear.
  • Use cleaning stations.
  • Always stay on the track.

    Route map

    557 km, Hamilton, Pukekawa, Port Waikato, Waikaretu, Raglan, Kawhai, Otorohanga, Waitomo Caves, Matamata, Hamilton

    Hamilton

    Beginnings

    Hamilton, New Zealand @Shaun Jeffers Photography
    Hamilton @Shaun Jeffers Photography

    Hamilton, perhaps the most underrated city in Aotearoa New Zealand to visit. Definitely not overcrowded with plenty of space to breathe deeply. Hamilton is New Zealand’s River City. Visitors tend to scoot through Hamilton on their way to Hobbiton and Waitomo Caves. Hamilton’s trump card is the majestic Waikato River. A grand sweep of water, waterways and verdant green is the city’s calling card. The temptation to slip outdoors and explore the fabulous river walks makes Hamilton a great destination.

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    Port Waikato

    Port Waikato, New Zealand @ecoshacknz
    Port Waikato @ecoshacknz

    The holiday spirit is alive and well in Port Waikato. Port Waikato is a seaside town from the establishment of a store in 1893 today the summer destination has a cafe, volunteer fire station, surf lifesaving club, yachting and fishing clubs. The holiday camp is a popular spot for Aucklanders looking for a summer beach break. Fishing, surf cast from the beach for kahawai, or run a long line from the dunes at the river mouth for trevally. Flounder and mullet are also plentiful using drag nets.

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    Pukekohe detour

    Pukekohe’s heritage East Presbyterian church, Auckland, New Zealand @aklheritage
    Pukekohe’s heritage East Presbyterian church @aklheritage

    Decided to spend a few days in Port Waikato chilling out. Consider a detour to Pukekohe to check out the “city smart, country heart” atmosphere of the Saturday market.

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    Commercial growers offload export surplus making this the place for fresh veg and fruit. The thriving country town supports urban style cafes and restaurants with an extensive range of fresh produce at the Saturday morning market.

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    Raglan

    Raglan Wharf, New Zealand
    Raglan Wharf

    From Port Waikato the road follows the west coast. It is 113 km to your next destination. Raglan is New Zealand’s original surf town. Surfing culture in Raglan has embraced wanderlust as a town motto. Testing yourself against the surf is one of the top things to do in town.

    Yet Raglan is more than a surf beach destination there is a thriving art scene supported by local weekend visitors, burgeoning food scene with locally sourced ingredients creating a culinary hit with visitors as well as stunning scenery.

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    Kawhia

    Hot Water Beach, Kawhia, New Zealand @The Elsewhere Kiddo
    Hot Water Beach, Kawhia @The Elsewhere Kiddo

    Kawhai is quintessential coastal New Zealand with family owned fishing vessels tied up to the local wharf. Camp sites nestled under trees in sight of the sea and sand. Make time for a special place where a remote iron sand beach yields natural hot pools at low tide. Ocean beach or hot water beach with its iron black sand dunes is an exercise in fortitude as you trudge over the soft hot iron sands exposed to the elements in search of warm bubbling geothermal water. It’s worth the effect. The West Coast beach is all about drama.

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    Otorohanga

    Otorohanga, New Zealand @WaikatoNZ
    Otorohanga @WaikatoNZ

    From Kawhai the route slips inland to the funky town Otorohanga. A town celebrating kiwiana is an amusing place for kids and all age groups. Hokey Pokey ice cream is a favourite with dairy next door to sample the real thing.

    For lovers of native birds Otorohanga Kiwi House has guided daily tours to spot our elusive kiwis and detailed kids sheets to keep everyone entertained. The town is pretty with a streetscape framed with floral hanging baskets.

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    Waitomo Caves

    Waitomo Glowworm Cave, New Zealand @CaveWorld
    Waitomo Glowworm Cave @CaveWorld

    Waitomo Caves is a bucket list destination for many overseas visitors. Tourism posters and visuals invariably have Waitomo Caves as a must go visitor attraction. Here’s your chance to check out the action. Adrenaline fuelled underwater adventure or a leisurely cruise on an underground river Waitomo offers choices on how to experience the massive underground geological wonder. Waitomo nearby offers visitors epic short walks, waterfalls found at the end of mossy fern gullies and extraordinary examples of ingenious ideas from tunnels to access a beach to a town celebrating all things kiwana.

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    Cambridge

    Forest tree in McLaren Falls Park, a parkland set alongside Lake McLaren and is just ten minutes by car from Tauranga city in New Zealand

    From the Waitomo Caves it is a short hop to the heart of the Waikato and Cambridge. Cambridge, charming, picturesque and packed with choices for the most discerning visitor, quietly slumbers in the Waikato countryside. Cambridge is a great place to base yourself while exploring the best the Waikato has to offer. Cambridge is pretty, perhaps it’s the glorious mature deciduous trees or the glimmer of Lake Karapiro and the rolling hills.

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    Hobbiton

    @Hobbitontours
    @Hobbitontours

    Fans of Lord of the Rings, fantasy lovers and readers of Tolkien’ s Lord of the Rings series have Hobbiton, a film set for the hobbits and Peter Jackson’s imaginative interpretation of the classic novel Lord of Rings is less than an hour from Tauranga. There is plenty to do and see nearby, enjoy planning the day and check out the small towns in the vicinity of Hobbiton.

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    Park Lane, Owaka, New Zealand @patient0 test2
    The Port Chalmers Maritime Museum, Dunedin, New Zealand @Otago Daily Times, STEPHEN JAQUIERY
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    Thames main street Victorian, Edwardian timber facades, Coromandel, New Zealand
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    Beginnings

    A New Zealand Dotterel

    Park Lane, Owaka, New Zealand @patient0
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    Things to do on Rotoroa Island include observing endangered bird and animal species who are free to wander throughout the Island. It is the visitors who are managed where they go and told how to behave. The local inhabitants set the pace, wekas are known to cheekly invite themselves into your accommodation to see what you are doing.  There is a heritage trail, complete with a museum to wander through.  Hiking, swimming and volunteering are encouraged and, for fishing enthusiasts, great spots to try your hand at catching your evening meal.

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    Saturday morning

    The Port Chalmers Maritime Museum, Dunedin, New Zealand @Otago Daily Times, STEPHEN JAQUIERY
    Rotoroa views

    Getting to Rotoroa is an adventure in itself as you let go of city living. The scheduled Fullers Ferry departing early in the morning.  There is one scheduled sailing a day to the Island during summer.  Effectively Island visitors are limited by the transport options to the Island.

    For those whose budget is flexible there are options of sea planes and chartered boats. As always check transport operators for up to date information.

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