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The Waikato River Trails provide walkers and cyclists with 100kms of pathway beside New Zealand's longest river.

The pathway takes you past five lakes, four hydro dams and through some of the most scenic parts of our region.

High Level Bridge E 213 x 320You may want to tackle the entire course in a day or more likely take several days to really experience the bush, forest and historic landmarks along the way.

The trails are suited to off-road mountain bikes, and are graded level 4 (advanced). The southern and northern ends of the course are mainly grades 1-2 - these include Lake Karapiro, closest of the lakes to Cambridge, as well as Lake Whakamaru and Lake Maraetai. Lakes Waipapa and Arapuni are graded 2-3.

The pathway passes through farmlands, reserves and across boardwalks, while stories of the local history are told on signposts beside the track. The trails are a wonderful chance to get away from the hubbub of city life and experience the freedom of the country.

The Waikato River Trails are listed among the 18 Great Rides under Nga Haerenga, The New Zealand Cycle Trail.

The best time of year to ride the trail is between September and May.

To access the trails from Cambridge, head south on State Highway One and turn off at Horahora Road. Go 5kms to the Pokaiwhenua Bridge car park which is the starting point of the Karapiro Trail.

Partners in the trails are the Waikato Rivers Trails Trust, the New Zealand Cycle Trail project, South Waikato District Council, Waikato Regional Council and Taupo District Council. Mighty River Power are the trail's major sponsor.


National Wetland Centre

Imagine a place where people can learn how important wetlands are, the human benefits they provide and the unique plant and animal communities they support.

Visit Rotopiko Reserve for a pest-free picnic. Enjoy easy walks, lake views, ancient swamp forest, rare plants and native birds.


Lake District Adventures

HIKE CYCLE PADDLE From Jones landing hike around to Arapuni Dam. Onthe way take a side trip to the look-out to view spectacular sights of the upper Lake Arapuni. Bike and Kayak for hire.

Cambridge to Karapiro Te Awa Walk/Cycle Way

Connecting Cambridge to Karapiro is the recently completed Te Awa walk/cycle way which is just over 8km of dedicated pathway to the Mighty River Domain on the shores of Lake Karapiro.
Mostly flat, the cycle way runs adjacent to Maungatautari Road and is an enjoyable safe way to explore beyond the town.


Sanctuary Mountain, Maungatautari

An ancient forest right here in the Waikato, just 30 minutes drive from Cambridge
Visitor Centre open 7 days a week
 Bush walks and guided tours

River Trail Accommodation

River Trail Accommodation & Lake District Adventures Ltd offer many and varied styles of accommodation & prices on Lake Karapiro and the Waikato River Trail
June and July - Book 1 night, 2nd night 50% off
No. of Rooms : 3 From: $150

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Play & Stay

Cambridge offers a range of activities with something to meet all ages and interests. Read More
Download the Play & Stay PDF