This project is what NZ thinks of as heartland values - people working together to create a new community project.
Waikato River Trails FAQ’s
Q: If I am going to do the whole Waikato River Trail which way should I go? South to North, or North to South?
A: There is no right answer to this one. Either way will be fantastic. The Trails are a genuine two-way trail, so there is plenty of room for everyone going either way.
Q: How long will the entire journey take me if I do the 100km journey?
A: For most cyclists, 3-4 days and walkers 5-7 days.
Q: Is the Trail suitable for my children?
A: Sections of the Trail are suitable for children of all ages. These are the Karapiro, Maraetai & Whakamaru Sections. Other sections; Waipapa & Arapuni are more suited for older children.
It is recommended that children are closely supervised as:
- Many parts of the trail are close to the Waikato River.
- There are a number of steep parts of the Trail where inexperienced cyclists can get up too much speed.
- Some sections of Trail are quite remote; for instance the Mangakino to Waipapa Dam (Waipapa Section) and Waipapa Dam to Waotu South Road (part of the Arapuni Section). Once in these areas you are committed to returning or moving forward to the section end. Tired children (or adults may find this challenging).
- There are two suspension bridges 70 and 80 metres long on the Trail, some children may find these frightening. These are in the Arapuni & Maraetai Sections.
- There are several staircases along the trail (within the Arapuni section) that if cycling would require you to carry your children’s bicycles. The Ongaroto bluff staircase along the Whakamaru Section has the option of travelling alongside the road as an alternative.
Q: Is there mobile phone coverage on the Waikato River Trails?
A: Mobile phone coverage is available on approximately 40% of the Trails. There is better coverage on the Karapiro, Whakamaru and Maraetai sections, with Maraetai having the best coverage. The coverage on Arapuni and Waipapa sections is more limited.
Q: Where can I hire bikes, arrange transport and book accommodation for my Waikato cycling experience?
A: Contact Waikato River Trails here for more information, you can book a shuttle online by clicking here.
Q: What happens if I have an accident on the Trail?
A: The trails on the Karapiro, Whakamaru, Maraetai and the northern half of the Arapuni sections are reasonably close to public roads and villages. Get to a point where you have phone coverage and call 111 in the case of emergencies. In the southern half of the Arapuni Section and Waipapa Section, where there is limited access, you will need to get to a point where you can call out.
Q: Can I get lost on the Waikato River Trails?
A: Yes you can. Please follow the blue directional markers positioned along the Trails. Take particular care in forestry blocks to follow the markers.
Q: Where can I find the nearest bike shop?
A: The two bike shops closest to the Waikato River Trails are:
- Dolmans Cycles and Mowers, Bridge Street, Tokoroa, phone 07 886 8864
- South Waikato Cycles and Lawncare, 231 Rosebury Street, Tokoroa, phone 07 886 9299
Q: Are there particular hazards on the Trails to be aware of?
- Through heavy rainfall and day-to-day hydro operations, the lakes are subject to flooding, be aware that the lake levels can rise quickly
- On a number of Trails adjacent to the lakes, there are steep drops, keep as close to the inside as possible
- Parents and caregivers must supervise children at all times. It's recommended that children are positioned between adults at all times.
Click here to view the Waikato River Trails interactive map for more information on the locations of the various cycling and tramping trails in Waikato.