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6 Day Heart of the North Waikato Hiking Tour

Days
6

Pricing From
$3270

Difficulty

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Overview

Experiences enrich life, not things on a 6 Day Heart of the North Waikato Hiking Tour in New Zealand.

On this weeklong journey, you will go home with experiences that will stay with you for a long time. Escape the crowds and enjoy the solitude in our hidden backcountry trails. Stumble upon lands where time stands still on trails that locals don’t even know about. Explore the mountain where an ecological sanctuary enclosed by the longest pest-proof fence in the world can be found. Listen to bird song as the forest comes alive with some of the rarest native birds in New Zealand. On reaching a marae, get a taste of a few traditional Maori delicacies.

Give your legs a good workout on your way to North Island’s tallest waterfall, then celebrate your well-earned accomplishment as you step inside a fifth-generation, family-owned and managed winery to sample some of their highly rated wines. Gaze up at the soaring limestone bluffs that guard the middle earth and explore the mesmerising forests of Pureora. Round out this weeklong adventure with a relaxed walk on the banks of a stream that leads to Te Waihou’s turquoise spring water.

Tuck into tasty and hearty kiwi meals paired with a well-deserved glass of wine or beer as you reflect each day’s hikes and adventures. At the end of each day, we come home to two boutique lodges where we stay for three nights and two nights, respectively, to give you enough time to unpack, relax and get a better sense of the place.

6 Day Heart of the North Waikato Hiking Tour

6 Day Heart of the North Waikato Hiking Tour

Blue Springs

6 Day Heart of the North Waikato Hiking Tour

Out in the Styx view

6 Day Heart of the North Waikato Hiking Tour

Purerora

6 Day Heart of the North Waikato Hiking Tour

Tawarau Speedies Road

6 Day Heart of the North Waikato Hiking Tour

Vilagrads bar tasting

6 Day Heart of the North Waikato Hiking Tour

Wairere falls lookout

6 Day Heart of the North Waikato Hiking Tour

Itinerary

Open All
Day 1Auckland - Waireinga Falls - Sanctuary MountainTransfer day. Short walk only, 1 hour

Note: This itinerary should be seen as a guide only and is subject to change at any time due to elements outside our control. We will always endeavour to stick as closely to this itinerary as possible to deliver the best experience to you. The above doesn't detail all 'Nosh' experiences in full as we like to keep some things a surprise!

Your journey starts from either Auckland or Hamilton where our guide(s) will collect you and we head out to Wairēinga Falls. A short walk through lush native bush brings us to a spectacular 55m fall that seems to leap from the sandstone rock bed above. Gathering at our guesthouse at the base of Sanctuary mountain we take in the full profile of tomorrow's climb over a glass of wine. We guarantee you will be made to feel right at home with Mary's delicious cooking where you'll be treated to no less than a four-course meal. Get used to it, because you'll be eating like kings and queens for the next two nights at their guesthouse!

Day 2Explore Waikato Basin12km (7.4 miles) / 5-6 hours hiking (moderate to hard grade)

Wake to the dawn chorus of native birds singing their happy song thanks to the sanctuary sitting above us. Fuel up at breakfast before a short drive delivers us to the Southern Enclosure of the mountain where we begin our hike to the rocky outcrop with magnificent views across the Waikato basin. Explore primeval forest where ferns, fungi, nikau and native seedlings carpet the undergrowth and huge trees tower over us. An option here to continue up to Pukeatua peak. A trip to the local marae to try some 'kaitimotimo' - traditional Maori delicacies makes for a unique cultural experience and a memorable afternoon.

Day 3Wairere Falls5km (3.7 miles) / 3-4 hours hiking (moderate grade)

Relish in a leisurely morning and home made breakfast before climbing to the top of the tallest waterfall in the North Island. Plunging 153m from the Kaimai range above, a well maintained track winds across bridges with lovely views of cascades, before reaching to our first view of the falls. From here the track gets serious as we climb to the top of the falls for a breath-taking view over the valley and Waikato plains. A visit to a local family-owned and operated winery where we are treated the tastes of their multi-award winning wines rounds off our day before heading back to base for more of Mary's home cooking.

Day 4Tawarau Forest13km (8 miles) / 6 hours hiking (moderate to hard grade)

Enter the hidden world of the Tawarau Forest, tucked deep in the heart of limestone-laden bluffs of Waitomo caves country. We have a full programme today with a hike through what can only be described as a true kiwi 'tramping' track, with many idyllic spots to stop and explore along the way. An easy walk on a new track takes us to one of the most impressive waterfalls in the country and a 17m high natural limestone arch. We head south for the night to the newly built Timber Trail Lodge nestled in the Pureora Forest and share stories around the fire pit under the stars.

Day 5Mt Pureora Track5km (3.1 miles) / 3 hours hiking (easy grade)

After a hearty cooked breakfast from our lodge hosts, we head to the Mt Pureora track with a short climb to the summit. The rich and protected rain forest of Pureora bear an abundance of 1,000-year-old podocarp trees, draped with moss and dense with undergrowth. These trees boast a lineage that stretches back to the time when New Zealand was part of the super continent of Gondwana. Walking these tracks truly gives you the distinct sense you've stepped back in time to ancient forests. On a clear day, you can soak up 360 degree views of Lake Taupo, Tongariro, the Kaimanawa Ranges, and South Waikato. We have a couple of other hidden gems to visit today, including our lunch stop at the Waihora lagoon, one of the most beautiful spots on the park.

Day 6Blue Springs, Te Waihou, Hamilton/Auckland10km (6.2 miles) / 2-3 hours walking (easy grade)

North bound, we head for the famous Blue Springs of Putaruru, with water so pure and clear it supplies around 70% of New Zealand’s bottled water. But first, coffee. Really, really good kiwi coffee at a stop on the way. Now we are ready to wrap up the week with a gentle walk along the banks of the pristine turquoise stream leading to Te Waihou. Our next stop is a boutique specialty cheese factory and deli where you have the opportunity to sample handcrafted cheeses, in a region known for it's dairy farming. Our local cheesemaker has won more than 75 medals and a dozen trophies from around the world. One final stop for a sweet handmade treat to sweeten off the palate before we deliver you back to Hamilton or Auckland.

Itinerary

Open All
Day 1Auckland - Waireinga Falls - Sanctuary MountainTransfer day. Short walk only, 1 hour

Note: This itinerary should be seen as a guide only and is subject to change at any time due to elements outside our control. We will always endeavour to stick as closely to this itinerary as possible to deliver the best experience to you. The above doesn't detail all 'Nosh' experiences in full as we like to keep some things a surprise!

Your journey starts from either Auckland or Hamilton where our guide(s) will collect you and we head out to Wairēinga Falls. A short walk through lush native bush brings us to a spectacular 55m fall that seems to leap from the sandstone rock bed above. Gathering at our guesthouse at the base of Sanctuary mountain we take in the full profile of tomorrow's climb over a glass of wine. We guarantee you will be made to feel right at home with Mary's delicious cooking where you'll be treated to no less than a four-course meal. Get used to it, because you'll be eating like kings and queens for the next two nights at their guesthouse!

Day 2Explore Waikato Basin12km (7.4 miles) / 5-6 hours hiking (moderate to hard grade)

Wake to the dawn chorus of native birds singing their happy song thanks to the sanctuary sitting above us. Fuel up at breakfast before a short drive delivers us to the Southern Enclosure of the mountain where we begin our hike to the rocky outcrop with magnificent views across the Waikato basin. Explore primeval forest where ferns, fungi, nikau and native seedlings carpet the undergrowth and huge trees tower over us. An option here to continue up to Pukeatua peak. A trip to the local marae to try some 'kaitimotimo' - traditional Maori delicacies makes for a unique cultural experience and a memorable afternoon.

Day 3Wairere Falls5km (3.7 miles) / 3-4 hours hiking (moderate grade)

Relish in a leisurely morning and home made breakfast before climbing to the top of the tallest waterfall in the North Island. Plunging 153m from the Kaimai range above, a well maintained track winds across bridges with lovely views of cascades, before reaching to our first view of the falls. From here the track gets serious as we climb to the top of the falls for a breath-taking view over the valley and Waikato plains. A visit to a local family-owned and operated winery where we are treated the tastes of their multi-award winning wines rounds off our day before heading back to base for more of Mary's home cooking.

Day 4Tawarau Forest13km (8 miles) / 6 hours hiking (moderate to hard grade)

Enter the hidden world of the Tawarau Forest, tucked deep in the heart of limestone-laden bluffs of Waitomo caves country. We have a full programme today with a hike through what can only be described as a true kiwi 'tramping' track, with many idyllic spots to stop and explore along the way. An easy walk on a new track takes us to one of the most impressive waterfalls in the country and a 17m high natural limestone arch. We head south for the night to the newly built Timber Trail Lodge nestled in the Pureora Forest and share stories around the fire pit under the stars.

Day 5Mt Pureora Track5km (3.1 miles) / 3 hours hiking (easy grade)

After a hearty cooked breakfast from our lodge hosts, we head to the Mt Pureora track with a short climb to the summit. The rich and protected rain forest of Pureora bear an abundance of 1,000-year-old podocarp trees, draped with moss and dense with undergrowth. These trees boast a lineage that stretches back to the time when New Zealand was part of the super continent of Gondwana. Walking these tracks truly gives you the distinct sense you've stepped back in time to ancient forests. On a clear day, you can soak up 360 degree views of Lake Taupo, Tongariro, the Kaimanawa Ranges, and South Waikato. We have a couple of other hidden gems to visit today, including our lunch stop at the Waihora lagoon, one of the most beautiful spots on the park.

Day 6Blue Springs, Te Waihou, Hamilton/Auckland10km (6.2 miles) / 2-3 hours walking (easy grade)

North bound, we head for the famous Blue Springs of Putaruru, with water so pure and clear it supplies around 70% of New Zealand’s bottled water. But first, coffee. Really, really good kiwi coffee at a stop on the way. Now we are ready to wrap up the week with a gentle walk along the banks of the pristine turquoise stream leading to Te Waihou. Our next stop is a boutique specialty cheese factory and deli where you have the opportunity to sample handcrafted cheeses, in a region known for it's dairy farming. Our local cheesemaker has won more than 75 medals and a dozen trophies from around the world. One final stop for a sweet handmade treat to sweeten off the palate before we deliver you back to Hamilton or Auckland.

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