Waikato / King Country

Waikato / King Country

Mercer to Rangiriri - OPEN

Alternative Track
There is currently no alternative track available at this time
Northern Start
Skeet Rd, Mercer
Southern End
Rangiriri Bridge (Junction of SH1 and Churchill East Rd)
Distance
25.5km
Time
1 day
Track Standard
Road margin   Footpath   Easy tramping track   Tramping track   Route   Mixed grade  
Potential Hazards
  • Vehicles on road or track
  • Farming operations
  • Track exposed to sun, wind or cold
  • Few water sources
  • Track is impassable when the river is in flood. The Waikato is a dangerous river. Swimming is NOT recommended. Water erosion may undermine the bank near the river edge. Supervise children closely.
Description
(North to South)

NO dogs, guns, camping or fires.

Track is impassable when the river is in flood. The Waikato is a dangerous river. Swimming is NOT recommended. Water erosion may undermine the bank near the river edge.

Whangamarino Redoubt Track - 2.5km / 45min
 
This is a very scenic route but the track is basic, hilly and can be slippery - so good footwear and reasonable fitness required. 
From the southern end of Skeet Rd, keep going straight ahead, following the fenceline and orange markers. When the fence ends, keep following the markers over farmland and through bush. From the high points, there are great views of the Waikato River and the Whangamarino wetland which is the second largest bog and swamp complex in the North Island.
 
Near the southern end of the track is the Whangamarino Redoubt (an historic site from the Maori Wars era). At a stile, you have the choice of going right past remnants of the war entrenchments and through DOC estate or straight ahead down to Oram Rd.
 

Whangamarino Wetlands Track - 5.5km / 2hr

From the Whangamarino floodgate, follow the markers underneath the railway line and the two highway bridges before coming up on the banks of the Waikato River and west of SH1.
 
Walk south as close as practicably to the Waikato River, past the mythologoical Taniwha lairs and through boggy wetlands and landscaped grasslands to the outfall by the former power station.

Just south of the old power station, veer west off the highway shoulder and follow the marked track along the stopbank. Continue on south along the river bank until you reach Dragway Rd. Turn west and follow the road to the end.
 

Waikato River - 17.5km / 6hr

Near the end of Dragway Road, an ignimbrite rock marker marks the trail head, engraved with a Waikato River verse from a Topp Twins song. Signage indicates walkers are under the protection of the Ngati Naho taniwha.

The first 9km from Dragway Rd to the Te Kauwhata Pumphouse is the most scenic part of the track. It follows farm tracks and the stopbank for three kilometres before ascending hilly terrain to a height of 35 metres, with good river views, before descending again to the flats. Kahikatea, cabbage trees and puketea alongside the trail give a hint of the original riverside vegetation.

Soon after, the track passes on to another farm frontage, climbing to another river viewpoint before crossing a swamp on a 30m boardwalk and exiting just north of the Pumphouse. (The Pumphouse is accessible by Hall Road, if you want to arrange a pickup by car here).

The track continues along the stopbank parallel to Churchill East Road for most of the remaining 8.5km to Rangiriri. (The quiet road shoulder is an option if you don’t like moving past occasional cattle - wear hi-viz and don't use headphones).

Two kilometres south of the Pumphouse, watch for Tarahanga, an island that was used in former times as a Maori sentry post to detect invaders on the river. High priests here once uttered powerful incantations and sounded alarms through a rock structure known as Te Pahuu o Ngati Pou, warning of any impending danger.

Three kilometres along this route, the track diverts on to the road for nearly 2km, then returns to the stopbank again for the final 2km to Rangiriri Bridge. This last section sometimes grazes young bulls so, if you'd prefer, the road is again an option. 

The trail ends near an old redoubt where, in 1863, British troops fought Waikato warriors in a bloody encounter. The nearby Rangiriri Battle Site Heritage Centre displays military relics and an audio-visual of the battle.

For those continuing south, it is safer to walk underneath the bridge then scramble up the bank to cross Rangiriri Bridge on the southern side of the road.

Note: Map is indicative only
Extra Info

Mercer

Getting to/from the start
The Waikato region conveniently starts near the Mercer Service Centre, SH 1, Mercer. It is well serviced by long haul bus companies 
InterCity - P: 09 583 5780 - E: info@intercity.co.nz 
Northliner Express Coach Service - P: 09 307 5873 
Naked Bus - P: 0900 62533 (calls cost)

Rangiriri

Getting there/away
InterCity - P: 09 583 5780 - E: info@intercity.co.nz 
Naked Bus - P: 0900 62533 (calls cost)

Accommodation
Rangiriri Hotel  - 8 Talbot Street, Rangiriri (pub, bar, food & accommodation) - P: 07 826 3467 
 
Cathy Miller is in Rangiriri, adjacent to the pub and cafe. There are camping and shower facilities, washing machine, food and a 4 bedroom guest house. Call/Text Cathy on 0274 404924.
 

 

 
 
 

 

Requirements
  • Keep to the track
  • Respect private land
  • Leave gates as you find them
  • No litter
  • No dogs
  • No firearms
  • No camping
  • No fires
Environment
  • Take all rubbish with you
Amenities
(Start)
  • Full range of amenities Mercer Service Centre
  • Car park
  • Toilets
  • Shop
  • Phone
  • Accommodation
Amenities
(On Route)
  • No amenities
Amenities
(End)
  • No amenities
  • Accommodation & food at the Rangiriri Hotel, Rangiriri Road, Rangiriri, Phone 07 826 3476
Closest Town(s)
Rangiriri
Managed by
Te Araroa Waikato Trust & Environment Waikato
Contact
Te Araroa
Thanks to
Te Araroa Trust wishes to thank all the farmers who allowed passage across their land.
Alternative Track
There is currently no alternative track available at this time
Northern Start
Skeet Rd, Mercer
Southern End
Rangiriri Bridge (Junction of SH1 and Churchill East Rd)
Distance
25.5km
Time
1 day
Track Standard
Road margin   Footpath   Easy tramping track   Tramping track   Route   Mixed grade  
Description
(North to South)

NO dogs, guns, camping or fires.

Track is impassable when the river is in flood. The Waikato is a dangerous river. Swimming is NOT recommended. Water erosion may undermine the bank near the river edge.

Whangamarino Redoubt Track - 2.5km / 45min
 
This is a very scenic route but the track is basic, hilly and can be slippery - so good footwear and reasonable fitness required. 
From the southern end of Skeet Rd, keep going straight ahead, following the fenceline and orange markers. When the fence ends, keep following the markers over farmland and through bush. From the high points, there are great views of the Waikato River and the Whangamarino wetland which is the second largest bog and swamp complex in the North Island.
 
Near the southern end of the track is the Whangamarino Redoubt (an historic site from the Maori Wars era). At a stile, you have the choice of going right past remnants of the war entrenchments and through DOC estate or straight ahead down to Oram Rd.
 

Whangamarino Wetlands Track - 5.5km / 2hr

From the Whangamarino floodgate, follow the markers underneath the railway line and the two highway bridges before coming up on the banks of the Waikato River and west of SH1.
 
Walk south as close as practicably to the Waikato River, past the mythologoical Taniwha lairs and through boggy wetlands and landscaped grasslands to the outfall by the former power station.

Just south of the old power station, veer west off the highway shoulder and follow the marked track along the stopbank. Continue on south along the river bank until you reach Dragway Rd. Turn west and follow the road to the end.
 

Waikato River - 17.5km / 6hr

Near the end of Dragway Road, an ignimbrite rock marker marks the trail head, engraved with a Waikato River verse from a Topp Twins song. Signage indicates walkers are under the protection of the Ngati Naho taniwha.

The first 9km from Dragway Rd to the Te Kauwhata Pumphouse is the most scenic part of the track. It follows farm tracks and the stopbank for three kilometres before ascending hilly terrain to a height of 35 metres, with good river views, before descending again to the flats. Kahikatea, cabbage trees and puketea alongside the trail give a hint of the original riverside vegetation.

Soon after, the track passes on to another farm frontage, climbing to another river viewpoint before crossing a swamp on a 30m boardwalk and exiting just north of the Pumphouse. (The Pumphouse is accessible by Hall Road, if you want to arrange a pickup by car here).

The track continues along the stopbank parallel to Churchill East Road for most of the remaining 8.5km to Rangiriri. (The quiet road shoulder is an option if you don’t like moving past occasional cattle - wear hi-viz and don't use headphones).

Two kilometres south of the Pumphouse, watch for Tarahanga, an island that was used in former times as a Maori sentry post to detect invaders on the river. High priests here once uttered powerful incantations and sounded alarms through a rock structure known as Te Pahuu o Ngati Pou, warning of any impending danger.

Three kilometres along this route, the track diverts on to the road for nearly 2km, then returns to the stopbank again for the final 2km to Rangiriri Bridge. This last section sometimes grazes young bulls so, if you'd prefer, the road is again an option. 

The trail ends near an old redoubt where, in 1863, British troops fought Waikato warriors in a bloody encounter. The nearby Rangiriri Battle Site Heritage Centre displays military relics and an audio-visual of the battle.

For those continuing south, it is safer to walk underneath the bridge then scramble up the bank to cross Rangiriri Bridge on the southern side of the road.

Potential Hazards
  • Vehicles on road or track
  • Farming operations
  • Track exposed to sun, wind or cold
  • Few water sources
  • Track is impassable when the river is in flood. The Waikato is a dangerous river. Swimming is NOT recommended. Water erosion may undermine the bank near the river edge. Supervise children closely.
Description
(North to South)

NO dogs, guns, camping or fires.

Track is impassable when the river is in flood. The Waikato is a dangerous river. Swimming is NOT recommended. Water erosion may undermine the bank near the river edge.

Whangamarino Redoubt Track - 2.5km / 45min
 
This is a very scenic route but the track is basic, hilly and can be slippery - so good footwear and reasonable fitness required. 
From the southern end of Skeet Rd, keep going straight ahead, following the fenceline and orange markers. When the fence ends, keep following the markers over farmland and through bush. From the high points, there are great views of the Waikato River and the Whangamarino wetland which is the second largest bog and swamp complex in the North Island.
 
Near the southern end of the track is the Whangamarino Redoubt (an historic site from the Maori Wars era). At a stile, you have the choice of going right past remnants of the war entrenchments and through DOC estate or straight ahead down to Oram Rd.
 

Whangamarino Wetlands Track - 5.5km / 2hr

From the Whangamarino floodgate, follow the markers underneath the railway line and the two highway bridges before coming up on the banks of the Waikato River and west of SH1.
 
Walk south as close as practicably to the Waikato River, past the mythologoical Taniwha lairs and through boggy wetlands and landscaped grasslands to the outfall by the former power station.

Just south of the old power station, veer west off the highway shoulder and follow the marked track along the stopbank. Continue on south along the river bank until you reach Dragway Rd. Turn west and follow the road to the end.
 

Waikato River - 17.5km / 6hr

Near the end of Dragway Road, an ignimbrite rock marker marks the trail head, engraved with a Waikato River verse from a Topp Twins song. Signage indicates walkers are under the protection of the Ngati Naho taniwha.

The first 9km from Dragway Rd to the Te Kauwhata Pumphouse is the most scenic part of the track. It follows farm tracks and the stopbank for three kilometres before ascending hilly terrain to a height of 35 metres, with good river views, before descending again to the flats. Kahikatea, cabbage trees and puketea alongside the trail give a hint of the original riverside vegetation.

Soon after, the track passes on to another farm frontage, climbing to another river viewpoint before crossing a swamp on a 30m boardwalk and exiting just north of the Pumphouse. (The Pumphouse is accessible by Hall Road, if you want to arrange a pickup by car here).

The track continues along the stopbank parallel to Churchill East Road for most of the remaining 8.5km to Rangiriri. (The quiet road shoulder is an option if you don’t like moving past occasional cattle - wear hi-viz and don't use headphones).

Two kilometres south of the Pumphouse, watch for Tarahanga, an island that was used in former times as a Maori sentry post to detect invaders on the river. High priests here once uttered powerful incantations and sounded alarms through a rock structure known as Te Pahuu o Ngati Pou, warning of any impending danger.

Three kilometres along this route, the track diverts on to the road for nearly 2km, then returns to the stopbank again for the final 2km to Rangiriri Bridge. This last section sometimes grazes young bulls so, if you'd prefer, the road is again an option. 

The trail ends near an old redoubt where, in 1863, British troops fought Waikato warriors in a bloody encounter. The nearby Rangiriri Battle Site Heritage Centre displays military relics and an audio-visual of the battle.

For those continuing south, it is safer to walk underneath the bridge then scramble up the bank to cross Rangiriri Bridge on the southern side of the road.

Note: Map is indicative only
Extra Info

Mercer

Getting to/from the start
The Waikato region conveniently starts near the Mercer Service Centre, SH 1, Mercer. It is well serviced by long haul bus companies 
InterCity - P: 09 583 5780 - E: info@intercity.co.nz 
Northliner Express Coach Service - P: 09 307 5873 
Naked Bus - P: 0900 62533 (calls cost)

Rangiriri

Getting there/away
InterCity - P: 09 583 5780 - E: info@intercity.co.nz 
Naked Bus - P: 0900 62533 (calls cost)

Accommodation
Rangiriri Hotel  - 8 Talbot Street, Rangiriri (pub, bar, food & accommodation) - P: 07 826 3467 
 
Cathy Miller is in Rangiriri, adjacent to the pub and cafe. There are camping and shower facilities, washing machine, food and a 4 bedroom guest house. Call/Text Cathy on 0274 404924.
 

 

 
 
 

 

Requirements
  • Keep to the track
  • Respect private land
  • Leave gates as you find them
  • No litter
  • No dogs
  • No firearms
  • No camping
  • No fires
Environment
  • Take all rubbish with you
Amenities
(Start)
  • Full range of amenities Mercer Service Centre
  • Car park
  • Toilets
  • Shop
  • Phone
  • Accommodation
Amenities
(On Route)
  • No amenities
Amenities
(End)
  • No amenities
  • Accommodation & food at the Rangiriri Hotel, Rangiriri Road, Rangiriri, Phone 07 826 3476
Closest Town(s)
Rangiriri
Managed by
Te Araroa Waikato Trust & Environment Waikato
Contact
Te Araroa
Thanks to
Te Araroa Trust wishes to thank all the farmers who allowed passage across their land.