Highlights of the Waikato River Trails

The Waikato River Trails provides access to a number of hidden gems that are now so much easier to experience.

Experience the Mighty Waikato River
The Trail, in many places, puts you in touch with the mighty Waikato River, New Zealand's longest river. The river starts its journey in the mountains of the Central Plateau and ends its journey 425km later at Port Waikato where the river enters the Tasman sea.

The Waikato River takes in five hydro lakes, four hydro dams, has three incredible suspension bridges, two wandering boardwalks through wetlands, all connected with the Mighty River that acts as an artery through the landscape.

The Waikato Trail is a journey of discovery, around every corner is something new, something spectacular. Exotic forests, native bush, streams that feed into the river, birds and spectacular landscapes.

A Piece of History Around Every Corner
Three special villages are on the Trail, the villages of Whakamaru, Mangakino and Arapuni were developed to support the construction of Hydro Dams from the 1920's to 1950's. These villages are now home to real Kiwi folk who are lucky enough to live on the doorstep of paradise. 

The Waikato River Trail at both the North and South ends are only minutes from State Highway 1. The Trail is easy to get to, easy to find, and is perfect for both cyclists and walkers. The Trail is made up of mainly intermediate to advanced trails that provide opportunity for day excursions or, for those looking for a challenge, take 3-4 days and cycle the complete River Trails journey and a bit longer for walkers.

Click here to view our interactive map of the Waikato River Trails journey.