Explore Waikato – Hakarimatas


In our month series, we check out some of the stunning Waikato locations which are ideal for fitness training and family outings. Take your workout routine outdoors with the popular ‘hakas’ track.

Get in shape for summer and tackle one of the region’s most popular tracks among fitness buffs.

The Hakarimata range to the west of Ngaruawahia in the north of the region includes 1850 hectares of native forest protected in the Hakarimata Scenic Reserve and boasts several great walking trails. However it is the summit track which offers the infamous challenge of 1349 steps and rewards with an unforgettable view.

Beginning on the Waterworks Track, the Hakarimata summit track branches off to the right and climbs steeply up a well-constructed set of steps and stairs. The steps look foreboding, but the view at the top is well worth the effort. The tower provides stunning 360 views out towards the coast and across the Waikato basin and down to Mt Ruapehu on a good day.

Having secured a following with local fitness enthusiasts and visitors alike, it isn’t unusual to see people timing themselves on the track as part of their training.


• Along the track you will be rewarded with babbling streams, picturesque waterfalls and impressive views across the surrounding countryside.
• Those looking for an even more tough hike, keep an eye out for the sandbags around the base of the track and carry to the top with you – this will assist the Department of Conservation with their track maintenance efforts and give you an even better workout.
• On any given day, you are likely to run into local Ngaruawahia man Reg Hohaia, 58, who does the track nearly every day, and has done for four years.


• 2km return via same track – allow 2-3 hours as these steps are tough!
• The Hakarimata Summit Track is accessed via the Waterworks Walk. The Waterworks Walk starts on Brownlee Avenue, off Hakarimata Road, approx. 1 km north of Ngaruawahia.


• 1349 steps lead you from the base to the top
• The summit is 374 metres above sea level
• The track was completed four years ago and has attracted more than 100,000 annual users
• The track is surrounded by 1850 hectares of native bush


• Track entrance via Brownlee Avenue, off the Ngaruawahia end of Hakarimata Road
Bring plenty of water as those steps are tiring work
• No dogs’ access on the Hakarimatas
• At the beginning of the track, veer left onto the Waterworks Track along the Mangarata Stream leading to an old dam.
• The track is an all-weather metalled surface with an easy gradient, making it a popular track for young families not keen on the full Summit Track.

For more information on the Hakarimatas and other walking tracks around Hamilton and the Waikato region visit www.hamiltonwaikato.com/experiences/walking-and-hiking-trails/


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