Back to list

New Zealand

South Waikato

A Region of Natural Wonders and Adventure



Located in the heart of New Zealand's North Island, South Waikato is a region of unparalleled natural beauty and endless opportunities for adventure. With its lush forests, crystal-clear rivers, and stunning geothermal wonders, this rugged and untamed corner of the country offers visitors a chance to experience the raw power and majesty of the natural world.

At the heart of South Waikato's appeal is its incredible biodiversity, which is showcased in a number of stunning parks and reserves throughout the region. The Pureora Forest Park, located in the western part of the district, is a particular highlight, with over 78,000 hectares of pristine native bush, including towering podocarp trees and rare species of birds and plants. The park is home to a number of walking and cycling trails, as well as a unique canopy walkway that allows visitors to explore the forest from high above the ground.

Another must-visit destination in South Waikato is the stunning Blue Spring, located near the town of Putaruru. This crystal-clear spring, which is fed by water that has been underground for over 100 years, is a sight to behold, with its vibrant blue hue and mesmerizing clarity. Visitors can take a leisurely stroll along the Te Waihou Walkway, which follows the banks of the spring and offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside.

For those seeking a more adrenaline-fueled adventure, South Waikato has plenty to offer. The region is home to some of the best white-water rafting and kayaking in New Zealand, with the Waikato River offering a range of thrilling rapids and stunning scenery. The nearby Waimangu Volcanic Valley, meanwhile, is a geothermal wonderland of bubbling mud pools, steaming vents, and colorful silica terraces that is sure to leave visitors in awe.

But South Waikato is more than just its natural wonders. The region is also home to a number of charming small towns, each with its own unique character and attractions. Tokoroa, the largest town in the district, is known for its vibrant multicultural community and its annual Tokoroa Festivals, which celebrate the area's diverse heritage through music, dance, and food. Putaruru, meanwhile, is a hub for artisanal food and craft producers, with a thriving farmers' market and a number of excellent cafes and restaurants.

For those interested in the region's history and culture, South Waikato has plenty to offer. The district is home to a number of important Maori heritage sites, including the Ngātira pā site near Putaruru, which was once a major settlement and trading post for the local iwi. The Tokoroa Museum, meanwhile, offers a fascinating glimpse into the region's pioneer past, with exhibits on the area's logging and farming industries.

When it comes to accommodation, South Waikato has options to suit every taste and budget. From cozy bed and breakfasts to self-contained cottages and holiday parks, there's something for everyone in this welcoming rural region. Many of the accommodations are located in peaceful rural settings or on the edges of the region's stunning parks and reserves, offering a chance to truly immerse yourself in the beauty of the natural world.

In conclusion, South Waikato is a region that truly has it all - stunning natural beauty, endless opportunities for adventure, and a rich cultural heritage that is waiting to be explored. Whether you're a nature lover, an adrenaline junkie, or simply seeking a peaceful and rejuvenating escape from the stresses of modern life, this rugged and untamed corner of New Zealand is sure to leave you inspired and invigorated.

Show more
South Waikato South Waikato 1 related places