Cambridge and its surrounding area is perfect for walkers.
It's mostly flat, there's plenty to look at and there are dedicated pathways to suit every style of walker from those who enjoy a physical challenge to those who merely want to amble. Established walks include:
The 17.6 hectare domain has seven tracks leading from street level to Lake Te Koo Utu, offering walkers differing levels of gradient and scenery. The main entrance and car parking is off Albert Street at the lower end of the domain. If starting at the top of the park, across the road from St Andrew's Church, enter via the Memorial Gates, erected in 1911. The different pathways are named after former chairmen of the domain board.
Walks of fame
If you fancy a gentle stroll, check out Cambridge's tribute to our equine and sporting heroes. Wander along Duke St to find 25 plaques honouring the achievements of local stars in the town's Sporting Walk of Fame, and as you turn into Victoria Street, look for 18 mosaics set into the footpath of prominent local horses. On the wall beside the ANZ in Victoria St, you'll find a special collection of plaques honouring our 13 (and counting) Melbourne Cup winners.
Cambridge to Karapiro Te Awa Walk/Cycle Way
From Cambridge, start at the corner of Carlyle and Browning Streets, Leamington, to enjoy 6kms of dedicated pathway to the Mighty River Domain on the shores of Lake Karapiro.A 2km section from Karapiro Domain to the start of therowing course opened in 2013.
The newest section running from Karapiro Domain to the start of the rowing course (2km) will be opening 7 April 2013. Mostly flat, the walk/cycle way runs adjacent to Maungatautari Road and is an enjoyable and safe way to explore areas beyond the town.
Leamington Walking Track
In 1998 the Leamington Perimeter Track opened and the full walk takes about 75-90 minutes. You can start and finish the walk at a car park in Cook Street. The Cambridge i-SITE Information Centre can provide a map .
Waikato River Trails
Though designed primarily for mountain bikers, the Waikato River Trails is very suitable for capable walkers, enabling you to explore 100kms of pathway beside the country's longest river. The track passes five lakes and four hydro dams, taking you through bush, forests and along stretches of boardwalk built over wetlands. The track is signposted with stories of local history. To access the trails from Cambridge, head south on State Highway One and turn off at Horahora Road. Go 5kms to the Pokaiwhenua Bridge car park which is the starting point of the Karapiro Trail.
The Cambridge Museum website has maps of a number of local walks with landmarks described. These walks guide you through different aspects of local life - a Business Walk, A Tour of Churches, the Cambridge Domain, Leamington, Waikato River and the Suburbs Walk. The i-SITE Information Centre can provide a map.
Heritage Tree Trail
The Tree Trust has created a walk that enables you to see outstanding examples of the rare and exotic trees that help give Cambridge its mantle of The Town of Trees. Details of the walk are available here. The Cambridge i-SITE Information Centre can provide a map .
Maungakawa Scenic Reserve
This reserve has a short native bush walk (about 20 minutes) that offers good opportunities to see tui and wood pigeon. The area is particularly beautiful during spring when daffodils and other flowers are in bloom. Head to the peak and you'll enjoy lovely views of Cambridge and the surrounding area. 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. The Cambridge i-SITE Information Centre has an A4 information sheet with background information on the reserve and its tracks/walkways.