A small town in Waikato, New Zealand, Te Awamutu makes for a short and exciting getaway for those living nearby. With its informative museums, elaborate rose gardens, adventure sports and scenic beauty, it has enough to offer to make a trip worth your while.
Here is a comprehensive list of the most amazing things you can explore in and around the town of Awamutu.
1. Explore the universe at the Space Center
This venue is replete with wall displays with interesting displays, information and photos of space flights, the solar system and the universe, in all its glory. It also has various interactive activities, to keep enthusiasts engaged. The center also houses some genuine space artifacts and memorabilia.
Moreover, collectibles such as stamps, cards and patches are available in the shop, along with books, DVDs, posters, toys, science activity kits, telescopes and more.
Space talks are also delivered at the center by Dave Owen.
Te Awamutu Space Centre
Address: 5 Whitmore St, Kihikihi, Te Awamutu 3800, New Zealand
Price : from 10 USD (Adults) and 7 USD (Children)
Contact : +64 7-870-1966 or +64 27-444-8621 (Dave)
Website: Space Center
2. Te Awamutu Museum
The museum beautifully showcases the history of the area and houses Uenuku, an important taonga (treasure) of the Tainui people. It has a large collection of artifacts and Maori treasures, with displays depicting stories from the Waikato land wars. There are also displays about local music heroes, Tim and Neil Finn.
Te Awamutu Museum
Address: 135 Roche St, Te Awamutu 3800, New Zealand
Contact : +64 7-872-0085
Website: Te Awamutu Museum
3. Explore the beautiful parks
Visit the Sculpture Park to see an ever-growing collection of interesting sculptures being built, or the War Memorial Park, which is one of the largest and most popular parks in the area. It is built around a stream and includes a duck pond, fountain and a playground. The Rose Gardens make for another mesmerizing site, housing over 2500 rose bushes of over 50 varieties.
Webiste: Sculpture Park
War Memorial Park
Website: War Memorial Park
Website: Rose Gardens
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4. Take a walk on the wild side at the Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari
Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing
Engage with the flora and fauna at the largest mainland, fenced sanctuary in New Zealand, which is home to many endangered species of New Zealand and native wildlife and flora. There are dedicated scenic hiking tours, during different hours of the day, targeting different parts of the sanctuary, as well as regular guided tours and bush walks for visitors. There’s also a night tour, where you can marvel at the curtains of glow-worms, view koura (native crayfish) by torchlight, search for weta and listen for the call of the kiwi.
All tours require prior booking. Group tours, customized corporate experiences and specialised private tours are also made available, on request.
Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari
Address: 99 Tari Road, Pukeatua 3880, New Zealand
Entry Fee : from 20 USD (Adult, 17 years and over), 8 USD (Children, ages 5-16) and 45 USD (Family)
Contact : +64 7-870-5180
Website: Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari
5. Experience rock climbing at Wharepapa
Among the best climbing areas in New Zealand, Wharepapa is the one place all adventure junkies should have on their itinerary, on their visit to Awamutu. It is more suitable for experienced climbers and offers over 800 routes, which are comfortable for climbing all year.
All climbing equipment is available at the on-site store for hire. There is also a cafe on site.
Bryce's Rock Climbing
Address: 1426 Owairaka Valley Road, Wharepapa South, R.D. 7, Te Awamutu 3877, New Zealand
Website: Bryce’s Rock Climbing
6. Explore the beauty of nature while hiking at Pirongia Forest Park
This is a rural township 12 km (7.5 miles) away from Awamutu, at the foot of the mountains, and provides an excellent jumping-off point for hikes into the Pirongia Forest Park. The hikes can range from an hour to overnight - allowing hikers to experience volcanoes, caves and beautiful river gorges. There are different track categories, depending on age group, difficulty level and duration, to choose from. While the easiest is an hour-long nature walk, more challenging options include advancing towards the summit of Mt Pirongia.
Besides being a hikers paradise, Pirongia also houses lovely cafes and a local museum for visitors.
Hiking at Pirongia Forest Park
Website: Hikes at Pirongia
7. Fishing in the Kawhia area by hiring fishing charters
This must beat sitting in the office, just another great day out westPosted by Venturer Fishing Charters Kawhia - surfandturf on Sunday, 31 January 2016
One of the premier fishing spots in New Zealand, the Kawhia area is also known for its picturesque beauty and is widely popular among tourists. It is abundant in fish and is fast becoming one of the most popular destinations in New Zealand for snapper and kingfish. Fishing depths generally range from around 8-60 meters (26.2-196.9 feet).
You can get recommendations and tips for fishing, based on the season and conditions from the charter company crew, as well.
There are a number of companies offering the services.
Venturer Fishing Charters
Address: 783 Ngahape Road, RD3, Te Awamutu 3873, New Zealand
Website: Venturer Fishing Charters
8. Enjoy trekking at Kakepuku
The Kakepuku Trekking Trail climbs up through the bushes, to the summit of Kakepuku, an old volcano. Visitors can choose to walk, hike or mountain bike to the top. The sights and sounds of tui and kereru can be found and heard en route and North Island robins can also be spotted.
The walking and hiking track can be covered in 2-3 hours and is on an easy gradient road. The mountain biking level is of Grade 2 (easy). For three-quarters of the base of the track, mountain bikers and walkers share the same track. Once at the summit, you can climb the new lookout tower, to view the scenery in all its magnificence.
Kakepuku Trekking Trail
Address: Kakepuku Mountain Historic Reserve, Off Kakepuku Mountain Rd. Waikato
Contact : +64 7-858-1000
Visit: Kakepuku Trekking Trail
9. Lake Ngaroto
A peat lake, Lake Ngatoto is popular for sailing, rowing and kayaking. Besides this, the bird life around the lake is plentiful, making it an interesting spot for bird watchers. There is also a walking ramp passing through bush areas, farmlands, wetlands, a picnic area and a playground, making it a popular spot for families to come and relax.
During New Zealand Duck Shooting Season, the lake is used for duck shooting. Moreover, while it does have an organized sailing club, sailing is open to visitors too.
Website: Lake Ngaroto
Breathe in the fresh air of Awamutu
Explore nature in all its glory in the town of Awamutu, with a plethora of nature walks, trails and parks and get your adrenaline pumping, by participating in some amazing adventure sport opportunities here. Enjoy!
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