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Travel Guide

Te Awamutu 11 unmissable things to do in the Waikato

  • 2 minutes

Waikato, North Island

Places to visit nearby Hamilton

Te Awamutu can be overlooked as visitors whisk through town on state highway three to the New Zealand acclaimed Waitomo Caves. Slow down and savour the small rural town with its stunning public gardens, cafe scene and picture postcard views of rolling Waikato farmland.

Te Awamutu is a mere ½ hour drive from Hamilton making for a great spot for a leisurely exploration of the Waikato.

Te Awamutu

perfect location for your Waikato holiday

Te Awamutu gardens & parks

Te Awamutu War Memorial Park, seats, restful places, Waikato, New Zealand
Te Awamutu War Memorial Park, seats, restful places, Waikato

Te Awamutu Rose Gardens and Te Awamutu War Memorial Park are outstanding public spaces. Superb family friendly spots where kids can play, jump, slide and test their budding skills on a miniature skateboard park.

Te Awamutu War Memorial Park is a great place for kids to feed ducks their stash of frozen peas and explore the wedding paths among the mature trees and duck ponds. A homage to the wars is framed by a pergola festooned with climbing roses. The sunken garden memorial to the loss of life during times of conflict is shaped in a cross and lined with ornamental stone walls. There is a playground, picnic tables and public toilets… read more Te Awamutu Rose Garden & War Memorial Park.

Te Awamutu rose garden

Opened in 1969, the Te Awamutu rose garden contains over 50 varieties planted in classic curved formal beds and features over 2500 plants. Flowering begins in November and continues until May. The Rotary Club has built a viewing platform which is a great way to get an overview of the rose gardens.

Te Awamutu Rose Garden in spring, Waikato, New Zealand
Te Awamutu Rose Garden, Waikato
Children's playground Te Awamutu, Waikato, NZ
Children's playground Te Awamutu, Waikato

Te Awamutu Children’s Playground

The playground is one of the best in the country. The superb use of the sloping grounds has created a fun sliding tunnel. There are modern climbing, jumping and skipping areas for children with brightly coloured markers creating safe places for kids to play.

Te Awamutu to Sanctuary Mountain is a mere 28 km short drive past Arapuni Dam and rolling farmland to the Pukeatau turnoff.

Te Awamutu local walks and Waikato walking trails

Must-do walks and hikes in the Waikato region (central North Island) are easily accessible from Te Awamutu. Wander the banks of Mighty Waikato River or briskly climb one of the many volcanic peaks from Mt Pirongia to Mt Te Aroha for panoramic views. New Zealand’s national walking trail from the top of the country to the bottom transverses the Waikato. Te Aaroa (long pathway) weaves its way past historic Mercer, rolling dairy country, interesting hydroelectric dam sites and completes its Waikato jaunt at Te Kuiti, sheep country. For more tips about the best places to walk in the Waikato check out Top 11 favourite Waikato short walks – Best Bits.

Te Awamutu rose garden walk, Waikato, New Zealand
Te Awamutu rose garden walk, Waikato
Bench seat for relaxation and rest at Wairoa Stream (Te Wairere) Waterfall hiking track, Kerikeri, Far North District, Northland, North Island, New Zealand, NZ
Wairere falls
  • Pukemokemoke Reserve (Gordonton). A bush loop trail of 1 ½ walking through a rich diversity of native flora and fauna with great picnic spots
  • Mangapohue Natural Bridge walk, a short distance from the Waitomo Caves
  • Hamilton city and river walks with the promise of a great cafe nearby
  • Morrinsville riverwalk with the opportunity to explore galleries and shops on the main street
  • Wairere falls near Matamata of Hobbiton fame
  • Bridal Veil waterfalls on the way to Raglan is a natural bush clad amphitheatre with a gossamer sheet of water framed by a sandstone cliff

Putaruru Blue Springs & Te Waihou walkway – Best Bits is a walking trail. The walkway is a distance of 4.7 kilometres, with an average walking time of 1.5 hours (3 hours return). The terrain varies from easy walking to backcountry trekking with stile crossings. In some areas the track has been benched and steps constructed through the gorge area. There are unfenced waterways, electric fences and livestock, children must be supervised at all times.

Putaruru view, New Zealand
Putaruru view

Te Awamutu is a ½ road trip to one of New Zealand’s extraordinary places, the Hamilton Gardens.


Combine with a trip to Taitua Arboretum and don’t miss the Te Awamutu rose garden opposite the visitor centre on Gorst Street.

The best time to visit Te Awamutu is between November to mid April when the roses are at their peak bloom. The roses continue to flourish until early May. The average summer temperature is 24.9c dropping to 15c at night. Te Awamutu Weather Forecast and Observations – MetService New Zealand. In winter the area can experience heavy fog making driving hazardous.

  • Quirky, amusing the Sir Ed Hillary Otorohanga Kiwiana walk is a time capsule of kiwi life in the 1950’s to 1970’s. Find out who claims ownership of the pavlova dessert and what brand of soap was a domestic favourite.
  • Kihikihi is a must-go destination for followers of the Waikato Land Wars trail with its evocative memorial to one of Aotearoa New Zealand great warriors, Rewi Maniapoto
  • Local museums with their collections from pre-European Maori objects to 19th century European settler life to the present are located in Te Awamutu, Otorohanga, Raglan, Piopio and Cambridge
  • Te Kuiti is just over ½ hour road trip into King Country, country blues, sheep shearing with sombre stories of Maori resistance to land confiscation and land alienation

Te Awamutu has a modern indoor aquatic centre. The Livingstone Aquatics, indoor facility includes a 25 metre pool, hydroslide, hydrotherapy pool, learners pool, toddler’s pool, spa, sauna and an inflatable obstacle course. Check the facility online for up to date opening hours. Entrance fees apply.

For a substantial agricultural service town and convenient location to key Waikato attractions the town punches above its weight for the depth and scope of its accommodation options. From camping grounds to comfortable converted school houses there is a place to stay to suit your budget. Check out 12 places to go camping in the Waikato and Central Plateau: location map and tips on what to do nearby.

Te Awamutu means the end of a navigable river. Te Awamutu is the administrative centre for the Waipu District, Waikato, North Island, New Zealand. The major natural landmarks are the promontory of Mount Pirongia and Maungatautari Sanctuary Mountain (predator free zone for native species).

Tudor knot garden complete with sculptural poles + selfie couple, Hamilton Gardens, Waikato, New Zealand
Hamilton Gardens

Te Awamutu is close to Cambridge, Otorohanga, Raglan and Hamilton. The town’s central Waikato location is a hub for agricultural services as well as an attractive visitor destination for exploration of key Waikato attractions.

Te Awamutu Destination Distance from Te Awamutu
Te Awamutu Hamilton 33 km
Te Awamutu Cambridge 24.6 km
Te Awamutu Otorohanga 29 km
Te Awamutu Raglan 61 km
Te Awamutu Waitomo Caves 43 km
Te Awamutu Te Kuiti 47.5 km
Te Awamutu Hobbiton (Matamata) 48 km

Te Awamutu is well represented by the Te Awamutu Courier which ably supports the online presence of  Te Awamutu.

Te Awamutu, Waikato North Island, NZ is a great hub and spoke destination for a holiday in the slow lane where your bags are unpacked and a series of day trips and nearby exploration offers visitors adventure, natural beauty and the chance to unwind. For more holiday inspiration what to do in the central North Island check out:

Matamata, Waikato attractions, things to do & places to visit

35 Things to Do in Raglan, New Zealand

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

31 Things to Do in Cambridge

Hamilton & Waikato travel guide attractions, things to do and places to visit

Hamilton, what to see and do — travel guide & itinerary


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