Walks & Natural Wonders

In and around Waitomo, from caves to stunning West Coast beaches, there are beautiful landscapes with rolling hills, limestone outcrops, ancient forests, waterfalls and walking trails to suit all ages and fitness levels - everything from easy 30-minute walks to multi-day hikes. It's a great way to escape life in the fast lane!

mangapohue natural bridge

Mangapohue Natural Bridge

The Mangapohue Natural Bridge walking trail on Te Anga Road west of Waitomo is a highlight on the scenic drive to Marokopa on the West Coast. A boardwalk through an impressive limestone gorge leads to the Natural Bridge, a spectacular 17 metre-high limestone arch spanning the Mangapohue Stream and all that remains of an ancient cave system.

A loop track (20 minutes return) passes under the bridge and continues over a farm trail. Look out for 25 million year old fossilised oysters exposed in the limestone outcrops. At night there are wonderful glowworm displays.


Te Anga Road (25 km west of Waitomo Caves Village)

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Marokopa west of Waitomo from the air


Drive west from Waitomo for breathtaking views of Marokopa Village on the dramatic West Coast. There's wonderful fishing and swimming, panoramic views of the Marokopa River mouth south of the village and an old Maori pa site, Puketoa.

West of Waitomo on Marokopa/Mangatoa Roads

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Marokopa Falls NZ

Marokopa Falls

Drive west from Waitomo Caves Village to the spectacular Marokopa Falls. A short walk through native forest from a car park on the Te Anga Road leads through lush forest to the 35-metre high falls cascading over a magnificent greywacke bluff. The Marokopa Falls (often described as some of the most beautiful in NZ) can be viewed from a platform at the end of a short track through nikau and tawa forest.

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Kawhia harbour entrance

Kawhia Township

Kawhia is a tranquil, coastal town beside the 6000-hectare Kawhia Harbour at the end of State Highway 31, west of Waitomo and Otorohanga.

Kawhia is one of the few coastal villages in New Zealand which has retained a nostalgic, "good-old-days" charm. It's an hour's drive from Hamilton, two hours from Auckland, and 45 minutes from Te Awamutu or Otorohanga. For some travelers, the hill road is a beautiful but formidable drive; although it's sealed and well formed, it shouldn't be hurried. You'll have time to admire the view across Kawhia Moana, "the Sea of Kawhia", from the top of the hill. Another popular route is the scenic back road from Raglan - with intriguing coastal and bush views as you skirt Mount Karioi and Aotea Harbour. (Allow an hour between Raglan and Kawhia Harbour).

For Maori of Tainui descent, Kawhia is of special significance. Tradition has it that the Tainui waka arrived in Kawhia Harbour in the 14th century and was hauled ashore where Maketu Marae now stands. Kawhia was also one of the first places where Europeans settled in New Zealand.

The Kawhia area offers harbour trips, bush walks, kayaking, yachting and fishing . There is an excellent boat launching ramp, a fishing wharf with boat-boarding pontoon attached and sand flats which yield fat flounders.

On your Kawhia visit be sure to make time to dig your own hot pool on the beach at the Te Puia Natural Hot Springs. When the tide's low, you can sit in a hot pool dug in the black sand on Ocean Beach. Follow the signs to Ocean beach, drive to the end of Te Puia Road and walk over the sand dunes. The Hot Springs can also be reached by walking along the beach from the boat ramp on the south side of Kawhia township. You have two hours on either side of low tide to dig a pool. (Check websites for tide charts). Watch for warm water running gently out of the sand or bubbles and steam rising, sometimes accompanied by a sulphurous smell. Then dig a shallow pool and trap the warm water with walls of dug-out sand.

(Ask the locals for the best location and time and take a shovel or spade to make the digging easier! Take care in fine weather to wear shoes of some kind - the dry black sand becomes very hot on sunny days).

Phone 07 871 0161

SH31, approx 45 minutes from Otorohanga

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Dundle Hill main photo

Dundle Hill Walk

Dundle Hill Walk is a unique 2-day Waitomo walk though lush native bush, unique limestone formations, caves, forestry and farmland. The clearly marked walk is 27 kilometres long. Located halfway along, high up in the bush on Dundle Hill, is the Kay's Cabin.

The Dundle Hill Waitomo 2-Day Walk has 3 great walk sections:

  • The Waitomo Walkway from Waitomo village to the Ruakuri Bush Reserve.
  • The Ruakuri Bush Walk, home of the spectacular Aranui Cave and the Ruakuri Tunnel.
  • The Walk to Kay's Cabin from Ruakuri Reserve to Kay's Cabin on top of Dundle Hill, then back along the Waitomo stream to the Reserve.

The 32-bunk cabin offers accommodation with a magnificent view of the surrounding country side. 

Cabin facilities:

  • Cabin sleeps 32 (4 bunk room)
  • No electricity
  • Showers & flush toilets
  • Fresh drinking water
  • Wood burning fire for heating
  • Gas element for cooking
  • Pots & pans
  • Barbeque facilities
  • Eating utensils
  • Pillows provided
  • Cabin has cell phone coverage
  • Tent sites also available at Kay's Cabin on Dundle Hill

(Luggage cartage services available)

Phone 07 878 7788

Through Waitomo i-SITE, Waitomo Caves Village

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Greenmount Mangaotaki River main photo resized

Greenmount Llama Treks

Wander the spectacular hills of the King Country amongst natural native bush, limestone rock formations and the running waters of the Mokau and Mangaotaki Rivers. Your friendly guides and gentle llama will lead you places not seen by or open to the public. Enjoy genuine Kiwi hospitality with homemade treats and delicious New Zealand wines and the peace and tranquillity you only get in the countryside.

Treks are tailor-made to suit most ages and abilities. We start with 2-hour treks per day - with morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea to suit. The llama carries your gear and food.

We also have Gift Vouchers available. These make ideal birthday and Christmas presents or just a magical day with that special person in your life. Do you have relatives or friends coming from overseas and wanting a unique kiwi activity?  Our treks could be just the thing they are looking for.

Rustic ‘Back to the Basics’, fully self-contained accommodation is available in a romantic bush setting for those who would like to relax after a trek in beautiful, peaceful surroundings or for those just wanting to get out of the city for a few days.

Our trekking season runs throughout October to May, depending on the weather.

The accommodation is available all year round.

We also have quality 100% llama fibre for sale for those who spin, felt, weave, knit/crochet, plus a range of baby wear out of our finest cria (baby llama) fibre.

Bookings are essential.

For more information or to make a booking contact Bob or Sandy on 07 877 8297, 0275 143 423 or visit our website.

Phone 07 877 8297

142 Paekaka Road, Piopio

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Ruakuri Scenic Reserve Waitomo

Ruakuri Scenic Reserve

The Ruakuri Bushwalk is a beautiful loop track (30 minutes return) through limestone outcrops, caves, tunnels and native forest. The track descends into the Ruakuri Natural Tunnel - for sheer beauty and stunning glowworm displays take a torch and do an evening walk.

Tumutumu Road (4km west of Waitomo Village)

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kiritehere beach

Kiritehere Beach

Stroll along the beach at Kiritehere south of the Kiritehere Stream to see sandstones containing fossilised clams, mussels and scallops. The rocks are unusually tilted in the same direction (evidence of seafloor movement following ancient earthquakes) and the surfing is a "best kept secret"!

Location: From Marokopa travel south along Mangatoa Road for approx. 3 kms until the intersection with Soundy Road. Turn right into Soundy Road and proceed 3.3 kms to the end of the road.

Soundy Road, Marokopa

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pureora forest park

Pureora Forest Park

Pureora has magnificent native forest walks including the Waihora Lagoon Track (30 minutes) Totara Track (30 minutes) Waihaha Track (3 hours) Arataki Track (3 hours) and Mt Titiraupenga Track (8 hr return to Link Rd car park). 10 tracks are available within the forest park.

State Highway 30 (between Te Kuiti & Rotorua)

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Hairy Feet MAIN image

Hairy Feet Waitomo

"Hairy Feet Waitomo" offers twice-daily film location tours at 10 am and 1 pm. Enjoy a 90-minute guided tour of the stunning farm location at Mangaotaki Rocks Piopio, near Waitomo, where the troll and campfire scenes in "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" were filmed.

Fascinating rock formations, massive limestone cliffs, and a primeval forest on Warrick & Suzie Denize's farm became the location for Staddle Farm and Trollshaws... and the home of "Sting", the magical sword Gandalf bestowed on Bilbo Baggins. (Have your photo taken standing in the exact spot where Bilbo took possession of "Sting").

Walk along well-formed paths and forest trails and visit the sites where Sir Peter Jackson and his crew filmed:

    • The Company arriving at a destroyed farmhouse
    • The exit from the cave containing the troll hoard
    • Gandalf bestowing the sword, "Sting" upon Bilbo
    • Radagast arriving
    • The Orcs and Wargs attacking

Phone 07 877 8003

1411 Mangaotaki Road, Piopio

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Timber Trail Pureora Forest Park

The Timber Trail

The Timber Trail cycle way is a stunning 85 km cycling adventure from Pureora Forest Park Village (off State Highway 30 between Te Kuiti and Mangakino) to Ongarue near Taumarunui. The full trail is a 2–3 day ride on easy and intermediate gradients and surfaces - it varies from flat smooth track with some gentle climbs to steep slopes in places.

(At Pureora Forest Village there are Department of Conservation campsites and cabins available plus beautiful bush walks in the area).

Trail sections vary from 5–45 kms in length with:

  • 35 bridges, including 8 impressive suspension bridges (the longest is 141 metres)
  • Magnificent native forests of massive totara, rimu, kahikatea, miro & matai trees & wonderful birdlife
  • Historic bush tramways including the Ongarue Spiral (an engineering marvel) & newly built tracks
  • Panoramic views
  • Historic timber-milling sites to explore

Pureora Forest, State Highway 30

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