GTGO Te Araroa Stage Three | Hakarimata Walkway | Back Country Cuisine

GTGO Te Araroa Stage Three | Hakarimata Walkway

21 December 2022

Te Araroa




Robert Bruce - Got To Get Out


The purpose of this series is to encourage every day Kiwis to walk sections of Te Araroa, to improve their health and wellness and prove it’s not just for fit foreigners.

The third video in our series begins with the Kauri Loop Track west of the Lower Lookout. The group walked past an old pā site and through regenerating bush to enjoy some stunning, giant kauri trees (the largest in the region). A few minutes further on, was the kauri grove bush viewpoint. This loop track then takes you through to the Upper Lookout where the Hakarimata Walkway officially begins. The walking is relatively easy going, from this point forward.

The majority of the Walkway is along the main ridge track, which continues southwards from the Upper Lookout to the Hakarimata Trig at 374m above sea level, the highest point of this adventure.

Walking 200m south of the trig, walkers take the track leading down towards the Mangarata Stream. “The Summit Track” is a tremendous local success story, where the community have adopted these steps as a community wellbeing tool, running up and down with or without backpacks, for fitness.

People thinking about trying this or any sections of Te Araroa, should download the relevant trail notes and prepare by sourcing the right clothing for the conditions based off weather reports, equipment such as walking poles, suitable footwear, and lightweight nutrition to keep energy up throughout the long days on foot.

Hikers wanting to carry-on the trail for a second day, could consider walking Ngāruawāhia to Hamilton. This group walked a further 12km beside the Waikato river toward Hamilton, before heading home for work the next day.


  1. Hakarimata Walkway
  2. Ngāruawāhia to Hamilton - Te Awa (The River)
  • Giant Kauri
  • Views over the Waikato River
  • The ridge track
  • The Summit Track steps


  • The start of the trail is only two hours from Auckland central, and easy to find
  • It took our group of novices around seven hours, to get from the Parker Road (Huntly end) to Ngāruawāhia, so plan accordingly with enough water and food
  • Pack light as there is a big ascent irrespective of walking SOBO or NOBO
  • Harden your feet ahead long sections of Te Araroa, such as by walking barefoot and wearing-in new footwear ahead of time. Don’t wear brand new boots for a long hike!
  • There are some places you can slip off the track or trip on angled roots, especially following rain, so tread carefully and wear grippy sneakers or boots
  • Trekking poles can be useful on long sections of Te Araroa
  • Make sure to ‘leave no trace’. Take all rubbish out with you and stay on tracks
  • The Riverbed Motel in Ngāruawāhia is a short distance from the bushline (across the river), and well equipped and accustomed to Te Araroa hikers


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