Only 80 mins drive away is the magnificent Waitomo Caves with free or guided walks and tours.
Cougar Mountain Bike Park is a great place to ride, and provides great trails without the crowds at Waipa.
The Park consists of about 35km of x-country trails. Mostly flat, these trails are great for beginner and intermediate riders. Well marked and easy to follow.
A 15-minute drive away you can take a stunning nature walk. The track will follows alongside the Waihou River, through wetlands, across rolling pastoral land and features views of small waterfalls, native bush and the famous Blue Spring with glimpses of trout along the way.
The Blue Spring walk takes about one and a half hours each way, starting from Whites Road (State Highway 28), near Putaruru. There is also a shorter walk, 15 minutes each way, to the Blue Spring, accessed from nearby Leslie Road.
The bridge is a popular tourist destination. The site can be accessed via a walkway starting on Arapuni Road opposite Rabone Street.
Bridge users are rewarded with views of the scenic gorge. Geological features can be seen, and the cliffs on the true right of the landing are of volcanic origin and formed by ignimbrite blocks, which are vertically fissured by cooling stresses.
Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari is a world class conservation project which aims to continue the species re-introductions and breeding programmes to create biodiversity in a sound ecological environment with a 16 metre high forest canopy viewing tower, a 600 year old rata and flourishing native species.
There are self-guided walks or tours to explore the sanctuary. It is surrounded by one of the world’s longest pest-proof fences, Sanctuary Mountain’s ancient forest offers a sanctuary for populations of many of our most endangered species such as birds, skinks, geckos, frogs, bats, and insects.
Close to Tokoroa are several lakes, perfect for boats, fishing, swimming and water sports.
Lake Maratai – Pete’s Kayak Hire is available at the Lake most days until about Easter weekend. You can ring Pete anytime on 0274 737 496.
Lake Karapiro – a man-made lake on the Waikato River and is renowned as a world-class rowing venue. A number of water sports events are held at the lake including yachting, powerboating, canoeing and water skiing.
The trails are in the heart of the South Waikato and extend from Atiamuri Village in the south to the southern end of Lake Karapiro in the north. The trail is broken into 5 sections, each section named after the lake that the trail is connected to. For those doing the whole trail, most ride south to north or down stream. This does not mean downhill! For those riding individual sections riding either way is fine.
Call Peter Shelton for a Shuttle Service to the River Trails on 0274 737 496