The Maungakawa Scenic Reserve offers one of the best views of Cambridge and its surrounding area.
Just 8km and a 14-minute drive north-east from Cambridge, the reserve is particularly beautiful during spring when daffodils and other flowers are in bloom.
You'll find many New Zealand plants such as rewarewa, mahoe, broadleaf and pukatea.
Walkers can enjoy a short native bush walk (about 20 minutes) that offers good opportunities to see tui and wood pigeon or a 40-minute walk from the park to Maungakawa Road.
Established in 1963, the reserve has a hill, Pukemako, also known as Sanatorium Hill, site of Te Waikato Sanitorium once used for tubercolosis patients. It was later used by soldiers convalescing after World War One and was closed in 1922.
The Gudex Memorial Park, within the reserve, commemorates the work of horticulturalist Michael Christian Gudex. Rewarewa, pukatea, mahoe, broadleaf and many other New Zealand plants can be seen in the reserve.
The picnic area provides extensive views of the Waikato and Hauraki Plains and some days it's possible to see Mount Ruapehu and Mount Taranaki in the distance. The picnic area has tables, fireplaces, toilets and water supply.
To get to the reserve from Cambridge, go along Thornton Road, past the Oaklands subdivision and turn left onto Maungakawa Road. The reserve, about 14 minutes' drive, is well signposted at the top of the hill.