With Cambridge as your base, explore the walks within an hour from town – from short walks to overnight hikes
Go Exploring Beyond Cambridge
Call into the i-SITE to pick up a map or gather information on of these fabulous walkways. Visit lakes, rivers, wetlands and mountains all within one hour from Cambridge. Tracks can vary from easy walks to more strenuous exercise – the ones listed here should be achievable by most people of average fitness.
Te Awa River Ride and Walkway
Te Awa walk and cycleway stretches along the Waikato River, from Ngaruawahia in the north to Karapiro in the south. Te Awa is a mainly a 3m wide sealed path, following the Waikato River with boardwalks, bridge and native plantings. It is bike and pram friendly, dogs on a leash. From Cambridge you can enter the Cambridge to Karapiro or Cambridge to Hamilton sections. For the most up to date information, please visit www.te-awa.org.nz.
Shuttle services are also available along the length of the ride – visit the Cambridge i-SITE to find out more.
Maungakawa Scenic Reserve Loop
Distance from i-SITE: 6.2 km
Track Length: 1.2 km
What was once a TB Sanatorium for returned servicemen, the Maungakawa scenic reserve boasts regenerating native forest with a scattering of exotic trees, plenty of native birdlife and the 30 minute loop walk. The reserve is also a great spot for picnics, with stunning views out over Cambridge and beyond.
The Maungakawa Loop walk is set in the Maungakawa Scenic Reserve near Cambridge. This easy bush walk includes descriptive signage identifying native trees along the way and is perfect for young families and dogs!
Distance from i-SITE: 49 km
Track length: 4 km loop
This loop track follows through the bush and up to the summit, with a lookout tower and great views across to the Kaimai Ranges and Firth of Thames. Access to this loop track is from Pikonui Road at Richmond Downs – 40 min drive from Cambridge and on the southern side of Maungakawa.
From the car park, the track leads a short distance into the bush before splitting in two directions.
The track to the right is shorter but does involve a steady climb to the summit and lookout tower. The track to the left is gentler but quite a bit longer. An anti-clockwise route is recommended i.e., take the steeper option up and the easier option down.
Distance from i-SITE: 31 km
Track Length: 6 km
One of the Waikato region’s natural wetlands. Plentiful birdlife around the lake make for ample bird watching opportunities, and the mostly flat walking track, picnic area and playground make this a great family walk in the Waikato. The walking track passes through bush areas, farmland and wetlands as it navigates around the lake, with signage providing information and illustrations about the local ecology.
Sanctuary Mountain and Maungatautari Mountain Tracks
Distance from i-SITE: 36 km
Track Length: 7.4 km one way
For more detailed information go to www.sanctuarymountain.co.nz
The original track (free to enter and walk) which heads over the three peaks of Maungatautari, Pukeatua and Rocky outcrop is accessed at the same location in the north (currently closed) and south of the mountain.
You can choose a 7.4 kilometer out and back trail located that features a great forest setting and is rated as moderate. Alternatively you can add in the Rocky Outcrop and Pukeatua Peak for views and more tramping style tracks.
Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari has a Visitor Centre and offers paid tours though their “Southern Enclosure”. As a charitable trust every cent they make goes straight back into the conservation work they do.
The northern enclosure located at Hicks Road is able to be accessed by public. Parking for this area is located directly in front of Maungatautari marae at the base of the mountain. Please follow signs and do not park on private property near the entrance.
The entrance is surrounded by private farmland, so please use the available track and keep to the path. The path to the northern enclosure is roughly 1.5km on mountain terrain and also includes some steep areas. Please be careful when venturing to this area.
Dog’s are not permitted in the sanctuary at any time to protect the native species living within the sanctuary.
There are outdoor (long-drop) bathrooms available within the northern enclosure, which are not actively monitored each day. Please take this into consideration when you are planning your day trip to the maunga.
The loop track within the northern enclosure is roughly 1.5km and takes an estimated 35 minutes to complete the track.
Pioneer Walk (Te Awamutu)
Distance from i-SITE: 18 km
Pioneer Walk is an easy stroll through some of the best scenic spots inside the town boundary. The walk begins at Sculpture Park on Albert Park Drive and runs alongside the Manga-o-Hoi Stream. You can choose to go through the Rose Gardens or continue the riverside walk, but either way you end up at the War Memorial Park. From there you can continue past the netball courts to Eileen Montefiore Reserve on Racecourse Road. This section of the walk totals about 1.6km.
25-minute drive from Cambridge i-SITE. Access is off Ngaroto Road off SH3. The track is board walked and suitable for pushchairs. It passes through a stand of remnant kahikatea. A viewing platform gives a birds-eye view of the forest canopy.
Distance from i-SITE: 30 km
Track Length: Approximately 6 kms
Lake Ngaroto has a boat ramp, picnic areas, playground, and toilets and a 1.5 hour walk around the lake and wetland areas. Access is off Bank Road of Paterangi Road.
New Kakepuku Summit Track
Distance from i-SITE: 33 km
Track Length: 2-3 hours return
From the car park there is a walking track to the summit. This track is an old farm road and is of an easy gradient. This track incorporates the mountain biking track for part of the way – mountain bikers and walkers share the bottom 3/4 of the track. Once at the top continue along a ridge through a fine remnant of original forest in the ancient crater and finally onto the summit itself (449 m). Climb a few last steps to the top of the new lookout tower.
Pukemokemoke Bush Reserve
Distance from i-SITE: 45 mins
Track Length – Various
A network of basic tracks allows exploration of this 40-ha private reserve accessed of Whitikahu-Tauhei Road. There is a lookout platform at a high point giving panoramic views of the Waikato basin. The reserve is an excellent place for family outings, with plant identification plaques and a covered gazebo and large picnic area.
Blue Spring – Te Waihou Walkway CLOSED FROM 9 NOVEMBER 2023 TO NOVEMBER 2024
Distance from i-SITE: 32 mins
Track Length: 5.2 km one way
Experience the magic of Te Waihou “the new water”. The walkway follows alongside the upper reaches of the Waihou River, where the water is extremely clear and pure, being fed by many springs and from tributary streams in the Mamaku ranges. Water flows from the Blue Springs at a rate of 42 cubic metres per minute. Look out for the trout, or if you have a license, have a go at fishing. There is a short walk or long walk option, accessed from different start points. You can find out more by clicking HERE