Cows. Dairy farms. Thoroughbred horses. They are terms that up till a couple of years back had been utilised to explain the Waikato.
But when we weren’t hunting, this 3,000sqkm of environmentally friendly and nice land was turning by itself into a hotbed of film places, adventure tourism and New Zealand’s only business tea plantation.
This winter season, place the car or truck in the path of the Waikato for a weekend like no other. Whether or not you might be an journey seeker, a household or a young experienced needing a crack from the urban jungle, the mighty Waikato has your back again.
This is how you can fill your subsequent Waikato getaway.
North Waikato: Back again in 1996, Vincent Chen planted 130 tea cuttings. Nowadays, more than 1.2 million dim eco-friendly tea plants flourish at Zealong Tea Estate where by you can eyeball the plantation, see how tea is processed and love a classic tea ceremony and superior tea.
A thrill of a diverse form awaits at Hampton Downs, a earth-course motor-sport park where the air is thick with the smell of go-carts and muscle automobiles going actually, definitely rapid.
Complete the day with a stroll in the inexperienced goodness that is the Hakarimata Ranges on the edge of Ngāruawāhia, overlooking the confluence of the Waikato and Waipā Rivers
Raglan: Surfs up at one particular of Aotearoa’s favorite surf locations. Bring your very own or employ the service of a board and head to Ngarunui Beach, Manu Bay or Whale Bay. Alternatively, take a kayak or a stand-up paddleboard out to Raglan’s well-known pancake rocks, or take a scenic harbour cruise in advance of having your motion pants on with a place of rock climbing or caving (search out for the glowworms).
You can’t go away devoid of going to the majestic 55m waterfall – Bridal Veil Falls. There are different viewing platforms where by you can acquire more selfies than you ever assumed probable.
Hamilton Town: You don’t have to have a environmentally friendly thumb to slide in like with Hamilton Gardens. The 54ha consists of extra than 20 meticulously sculptured gardens, which includes the Japanese Zen Gardens and Mansfield Backyard. There is certainly a high opportunity, however, that you are going to commit most of your time in the garden’s newest addition, the placing Surrealist Yard.
Take a look at the Hamilton Farmer’s Market place to acquire neighborhood goods from neighborhood growers and corporations, chat with the suppliers, have a coffee and listen to reside songs. It’s a great location to visit for tasty foods – not to mention the excellent culinary scene on offer you all over Victoria Road.
Waitomo & Surrounds: If you usually are not in really like with glowworms you absolutely will be following caving, black-drinking water rafting and abseiling here.
Go to Ruakuri Cave for New Zealand’s longest guided underground walking tour just before heading up coming doorway to the environment-famous Waitomo Glowworm Caves. Just one of NZ’s biggest attractions, delight in the galaxy of small blinking creatures that mild up the caves. Lunch should be at the award-successful HUHU Cafe exactly where you can eat on the deck overlooking Waitomo Village.
Cambridge: It seems a little bit bonkers – fill a 17.5ha disused quarry with sculptures and additional than 30,000 trees and shrubs. But it worked and right now The Sculpture Park at Waitakaruru Arboretum is a lush slash of greenery. As the name indicates, it also houses extra than 100+ sculptures and installations as nicely as lakes and ponds.
If the weather is sort, head out to Lake Karapiro on a kayak or stand-up paddleboard, before finishing with a beer or cider at Very good Union, the household of the Waikato’s outstanding Excellent George Brewing.
Te Awamutu: No total of yoga will give you the perception of peace that a pay a visit to to Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari will. Wander the historic forests of this 3,400ha sanctuary, get a guided tour of a takahē and tuatara enclosure and breathe out.
Excellent items appear in smaller packages they say and Te Awamutu Museum is no exception. This is where by you go to immerse you in the region’s historical past, from stories about early Māori profession and European settlers to the Waikato Wars and farming families.
Matamata: The jewel in Matamata’s tiara is the HobbitonTM Movie Set. Just one of the most popular of the 150 or so areas employed by Sir Peter Jackson in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies, this 5ha established is tucked into the rolling Waikato countryside close to 15km from Matamata.
Cycle the Hauraki Rail Trail among Matamata and Te Aroha past Wairere Falls, Aotearoa’s greatest waterfall which plunges 153m in two steps above the Kaimāī Escarpment. Strap on your strolling sneakers for the three to four return hike which wends through the Wairere Falls Keep track of.
Morrinsville & Te Aroha: Head to Morrinsville for a comforting day, wherever the Wallace Gallery and Herd of Cows? exhibitions showcase not only the heritage and history of the city, but also remarkable performs of art from area and national artists. Then end your weekend experience at Te Aroha Mineral Spas, greatest regarded for the healing mineral springs that flow from beneath Mount Te Aroha and has been relished by locals and site visitors from afar for about 100 several years.
Settle in at The Aged Forge Kitchen area for a glass of some thing chilly and congratulate yourself on a weekend nicely spent.
Pay a visit to waikatonz.com to find out much more info and commence arranging a wintertime getaway to the Mighty Waikato now.