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Touring Guide by Member Bryan Halliwell © 2009

Sub-Route B: iv to vii

Sub-Route B (iv)

Cambridge to Whakamaru, via Pukeatua and Mt Maungatautari.

There are several ways to get from Cambridge to Pukeatua:
(a) Stay on SH1, then, at about 15kms, turn right, either onto Plantation Rd, or onto Horahora Rd. Either will take you close to Arapuni. From there, take signposted road to Pukeatua, and Mt Maungatautari.

or - (b) Cross the Waikato and take the Te Awamutu road. If you don't want to visit Te Awamutu, earlier turn-off roads, to Puahue, Parawera, or Kihikihi, will still get you to Pukeatua, via Arapuni Rd.

Maungatautari is an outstanding ecological project, which deserves a visit and at least a short walk (see below).
After visiting Mt Maungatautari, you can go either to Arapuni, then to Putaruru and SH1.
Alternatively, go south, to Rotongata, then take Waipapa Rd, to Whakamaru. This is a very scenic route, through limestone, bush and forestry country.
Another option, from Rotongata, is to go 3km east, to Wharepapa South, on Owairaka Rd, before resuming sub-route B (iv).

Bryce's Rockclimbing, at 1426 Owairaka Valley Rd, is a highly regarded rock climbing centre. It provides instruction, gear, food, and accommodation, if wanted. www.rockclimb.co.nz.
Cambridge's southern suburb. Streets named after British poets and writers.
Possibly NZ's most successful ecological project. 3400 ha reserve, predator-proofed with $18 million fence. Great forest walks. Best entry, (southern) and information centre, from Pukeatua School. Northern entry from Maungatautari/Hicks Roads. www.maungatrust.org.com
River walks, including Waikato River Trail, and across Waikato River on swing bridge, www.waikatorivertrails.com.
Wharepapa South:


Mt Maungatautari:

Arapuni Hydro Dam:

Sub-Route B (v)

Mangatarata to Matamata, via Ngatea, Paeroa, and Te Aroha.

After turning off SH2, for SH27, turn left, at Mangatarata, then via Ngatea, Paeroa & Te Aroha.

Good place for a refreshment stop. Ngatea Water Gardens are 2 ha gardens, with pools, fountains, birds, and a good cafe.
Original home of 'L and P', - the spring is now used for bottled water, sold largely to USA.
Gateway to Te Aroha and South Waikato, and to the Karangahake/Waikino Gorge, with its outstanding river and rail tunnel walkway, and onwards to Waihi, and the Coromandel and Bay of Plenty.
Hot Pools complex; Tour up Mt Te Aroha, or walks; Domain Gardens; Museum; walks in Waiorongomai Valley; Waihou River trout fishing (using bait allowed); St Mark's Church houses the beautiful and famous 1712 Queen Anne pipe organ.


Te Aroha:

Sub-Route B (vi)

Tirau to Wairakei, via Rotorua and Waiotapu.

Just past Tirau, veer left, onto SH5, for Rotorua.
After visiting Rotorua, head south, on SH5, for Waiotapu, to rejoin SH1, at Wairakei.

New Zealand's most popular tourist location. There are so many things to do that a visit to the tourist i-SITE, 1167 Fenton St, or at www.rotoruaNZ.com, should be a priority. Also, an at least two-night stop-over should be an aim, if not this time, then next time! However, for a visit en transit to or from Ruapehu, the following should be considered:
Agrodome; Zorb; Skyline luge; Rainbow Springs and Kiwi Encounter; Buried Village; or a free walk at Kuirau Park, Ohinemutu Village, Government Gardens, Hamurana Springs, or the Redwoods area.
25kms south, towards Taupo, Waiotapu Thermal Wonderland, is a great walk, with spectacular thermal and scenic sights. And finish, (or start), with a visit to its good café (and good toilets, too!)
Mihi is just off SH5, about 52kms south of Rotorua. 12kms west from Mihi, off Tutukau Rd, Orakei Korako is at least one of the best thermal areas in New Zealand.


Orakei Korako:

Sub-Route B (vii)

Maramarua to Waitakaruru, via Kaiaua, the Seabird Coast and Miranda

3kms past Mangatawhiri, veer left, off SH2, onto Mangatangi Rd. At Mangatangi, turn left, onto Kaiaua Rd.
After visiting Kaiaua, head south, through Miranda, to join SH 25, at Waitakaruru. Turn left, for Thames, or left then right, immediately past the bridge, onto Canal East Rd. At the SH2 junction, turn left for Ngatea, Paeroa and Te Aroha, or right, to rejoin SH27 at Mangatarata.

8kms along Kaiaua Rd, Workman Rd would take you to Mangatangi Dam, the last water supply reservoir to have been built in the Hunua Ranges. Several walking tracks start at the dam.
At Kaiaua, heading north would take you to numerous beaches and Regional Reserves, on the Firth of Thames coast and Hunua Ranges, then to Clevedon, and back to Auckland.
At Miranda, visit the Miranda Naturalist Trust (wading birds) HQ, to see the bird and migration displays. Go to www.miranda-shorebird.org.nz.
Walk or drive onto the shell banks, to see many varieties of migratory and non-migratory wading birds.
Further south, Miranda Hot Pools are good for a visit and swim, with camping and accommodation.

You can download a document file with all these routes for printing/saving.