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Piopio, Waitomo district top 7 best things to do and what to see

  • 2 minutes

Waikato, North Island

Recogisable as the film location in The Hobbit trilogy, Piopio sits between the iconic Waitomo Caves and Taranaki’s surf coast. Piopio is close to Waitomo Caves as well as offers a base for exploring Waitomo’s wild west coast.

Piopio has several outstanding short walks suitable for small children making the area a perfect way to introduce kids to nature. The ace in the hole are Llamas and a magnificent garden ensuring visitors have a wide choice of activities.

Piopio & Districts Museum, New Zealand @Piopio
Piopio & Districts Museum @Piopio
  1. Piopio museum

The original blacksmith’s shop and cottage is home to the Piopio Museum. The forge is occasionally fired up for demonstrations. It’s fascinating looking at a manual switchboard where party telephone lines meant everyone could listen in on your conversation. Piopio’s original manual telephone exchange is still in working order. There is an extensive photography collection and memorabilia from the district. Entry is by donation and keys collected from the local Piopio general store.


Centre of town

  1. Omaru waterfalls

An easy half hour walk through regenerating bush and farmland to the terraced falls. Visitors will cross two stiles and enter private farmland, follow orange markets for a 300 metres and cross another stile before the track enters the regenerating bush. The final section is a swing bridge. The tracks are grass and slippery when wet.

After rain the waterfalls are spectacular, the falls drop is 45metres.

  • Length: 1.7km (loop)
  • Duration: 1 hour
  • Grade: Easy, note there are two stile crossings as you transverse private farmland.
Omaru Falls on North Island New Zealand
Omaru Falls on North Island
@Greenmount Llama Treks
@Greenmount Llama Treks
  1. Llamas & trekking tours + fibre for sale

Greenmount-llamas offer visitors a chance to experience a walk with furry friends, a llama or two. You will be regaled with stories about farm life and replenished with homemade treats from the farm oven. For knitters and craft enthusiasts llama fibre and wool is available for purchase. You can visit the studio to view felting equipment and weaving samples. Inspiring and interesting half day tours.

  1. Mangaotaki walk

Highlight family friendly kids walk

This gentle loop walking track is an 800m fantasy walk worthy of inclusion in the Lord of the Rings film locations. The massive boulders littering the landscape are covered in mosses and gnarled kahikatea trees artly grow up and around the boulders. The shaded walk is another imaginative landscape perfect for kids as The Mangaotaki River is ideal for the novice fly fisherman, with no shortage of rainbow trout, with access gained via the Mangoataki Scenic Reserve. Make sure you have the required licence to fish.

  • Length: 800m
  • Duration: ½ hour
  • Grade: Easy
Stunning rock formations at Mangaotaki Valley, the filming location of `The Hobbit, an Unexpected Journey`, in New Zealand
Mangaotaki Valley

The Mangaotaki Valley was the filming location for Trollshaw Forest in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.

  1. Waitanguru falls walk

A short distance from the magic of hobbits (11km) is Waitanguru Waterfalls. The drive is on a sealed winding road among dense native bush with sheer eroded limestone cliffs towering over the road. It’s a beautiful short drive even without a waterfall at the end of the drive.

A very short 200metre walk on a formed boardwalk to a viewing platform.

  1. Golfing anyone

Golfing buffs will not miss out with an 18 hole course kept trim and tidy by the local sheep. An authentic country golf course welcomes visitors and regulars alike. The 18-hole course is set in attractive farmland. Visitors are very welcome. Green fees are currently $20 and an honesty box system operates.

  1. Aramatai gardens

Extensive exotic and native plantings over undulating former paddocks has created a quiet oasis for visitors. There are numerous weeping trees overlooking small streams and pools. Rhododendrons, camellias, roses and perennials that flourish in the sheltered microclimate. The working vegetable garden and orchard hint at the practical origins of the garden. There is a special element with a 30-minute walk through our sheep and beef farm to a large picturesque hidden waterfall and native bush area.

The garden is open for public visitors, prior arrangement is necessary. Toilets on site. Morning / afternoon teas available on request prior to arrival. Contact Aramatai Gardens for details. Telephone: +6478788683. Email:

@Aramatai Gardens, Waikato, New Zealand
@Aramatai Gardens

Getting there


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