Places to go
Discover a flat easily navigable city, Hamilton with walks along the mighty Waikato River creating an imposing natural landscape. Enjoy an inland beach and tread in the footsteps of 19th century history along the Waikato River. Embrace the open spaces of the Hamilton Domain and outstanding regenerating wetland, Waiwhakareke natural heritage park.
WAIKATO RIVER PATHS – HAMILTON CITY WALKS
Find an inland beach, Wellington Street beach , sink into the quiet spaces of a flowing river as you pass historic places of interest in the Memorial Park and Anglican Cathedral. Enjoy exploring the Hamilton Gardens, only a short stroll from the Cobham Bridge pathway.
WAIKATO RIVER WALKS – HAMILTON
Waikato River Hamilton Loop Walk North – Hamilton Memorial Park.
Tred in the footsteps of 19th century military history and NZ Land Wars with a walk starting at Memorial Park. Hamilton Memorial Park is the site of the landing of the British militia in 1864. Mature trees planted in honour of individual soldiers are now shady massive statements framing English style formal gardens. The park grounds include a mounted Spitfire (World War II aircraft), anchor of HMW Waikato and relics from milita river boat Rangiriri. Opposite memorial park is Parana Park with its extensive playground. The river walk is well signposted. Another significant landmark is the Anglician Cathedral, occupying the site of a pre-European pa Kirikiriroa now the Maori designation for Hamilton.
WAIKATO RIVER HAMILTON LOOP WALK SOUTH – WELLINGTON STREET BEACH
Discover grassy open spaces, bush and shady trees. The extensive plantings of kowhai trees creates a beautiful yellow canopy of blooms in spring. Your walk leads to one of the city’s safe river swimming spots, Wellington street beach.
The riverbed is pumice and the trees and jetty make this a popular summer destination for wharf jumping. This site is monitored for 12 weeks over the summer period (the start of December to the end of February for water quality. There is a cafe opposite the beach.
Wellington street beach – an inland beach in the middle of Hamilton is definitely a great place for family and friends.
Continue walking to the Cobham Street bridge and you are approximately 5 – 8 minutes from one of the city’s highlights, HAMILTON GARDENS.
The return to your starting point passes the Waikato Rowing Club.
WAIWHAKAREKE NATURAL HERITAGE PARK – HAMILTON CITY WALKS
Find a hidden gem. On the edge of the city, with the Hamilton Zoo nearby is a well maintained pathway revealing a regenerating wetland. Waiwhakareke, established in 2004 with the long-term aim of reconstructing the natural forest, wetland and lake ecosystems present in pre-European times in the Hamilton urban area. The 65.5ha park will serve as a focus for Hamilton’s wider biodiversity restoration, including lakes and lakeshores, the Waikato River, its banks and unique gullies, and other parks with current or potential natural values (estimated to be 750 hectares). A superb example of regenerating wetland and native lowland bush in an urban environment. There are well signposted descriptions of the flora and fauna.
Located on the outskirts of Hamilton, with access off Brymer Rd and Baverstock Rd, Waiwhakareke is an award-winning, intergenerational ecological restoration project.
Dogs not allowed
HAMILTON LAKE DOMAIN – HAMILTON CITY WALKS
Discover a local secret. Hamilton Lake Domain shared walkways. Great for the dog, the cyclist, runners and walkers in the slow lane. Plenty of room for everyone. The playground, boardwalk sections and cafes mean this is a destination walk perfect as a meeting place or catching up with friends and family.
TAITUA ARBORETUM – HAMILTON CITY WALKS
Discover another garden gem in the city’ a woodland garden with lakes, views of farmland and walks for all fitness levels. The Taitua Arboretum is home to an impressive eclectic collection of mature trees spread across 22 hectares of open spaces. Featuring lakes, woodland gardens, birdlife, including numerous chooks and picnic spots, all linked by a network of walking tracks, the arboretum is perfect for a leisurely weekend stroll or family picnic. There are toilets by the car park.
Dogs allowed on a leash.
MANGAITI GULLY – HAMILTON CITY WALKS
Discover a restoration project, Mangaiti is a popular bushwalk in the Hamilton, Waikato region. Mangaiti Gully Restoration Group offers work, weeds and the holiday spirit is alive and well in this wetland restoration project. The significant natural area is home to a significant number of native birds giving visitors and Hamilton locals a chance to walk in Mangaiti’s natural spaces. The Mangaiti Restoration Trust is one of over 200 community groups, hapū and kura who have signed up to the Environmental Protection Authority’s (EPA) programme Wai Tuwhera o te Taiao – Open Waters Aotearoa. The programme promotes the use of eDNA to discover what species live in their local lakes, streams and rivers and coastal waters. Local coordination is being carried out by advisors from NZ Landcare Trust.
Discovering wooden bridges, towering eucalyptus grove and open fields makes for a great family walk. Newstead Walkway follows a stream as it connects to the Hamilton Park Cemetery. Nearby is Newstead Primary School. Dogs are welcome on a leash. The accessible walk provides kids with opportunities to explore nature. Accessibility: Well graded paths suitable for buggies and bikes. Mixture of boardwalks, gravel and dirt paths.
Trails are 2.5 km in length with several exits and entrances onto suburban streets. There are public toilets in the cemetery grounds.
PUKEMOKEMOKE BUSH RESERVE, HAMILTON
Pukemokemoke Bush Reserve is a superb representation of native flora and fauna. The information plaques describing the plants and picnic areas is only 20 minutes from north Hamilton. There are boardwalks to protect regenerating kauri from kauri dieback disease. The viewing platform has sweeping views of the Hakarimata ranges and Mount Te Aroha.
There is a 2.1 km loop trail; dogs on a leash are permitted.
Pukemokemoke stands for hill standing alone. It’s a last piece of remnant bush on the Waikato plain. The reserve was once logged for its kauri…. They finished logging here in the 1950s. They left a stand of kauri on the ridge adjacent to the quarry. We have some lovely trees. Mataī – mataī is not a common tree in New Zealand anymore; kahikatea, rimu, tōtara. The kauri and rimu are at least 300 years old. This was part of a very big cattle station. The last owner willed the whole property over to a trust … this is a private trust running the area for public good. Warwick Silverster, Chairperson of the Pukemokemoke Bush Trust.
There are no toilet facilities on the reserve.
TRAVEL PACK INFORMATION
For tips about walks in New Zealand check out New Zealand short walks and lace up the hiking boots.
PUBLIC TOILETS IN THE WAIKATO
Check for an up to date list of locations.