Photo copyright: Waikato River Trails

Waikato River Trails

OverviewTrail Status: Open

 

Waikato River Trails – Arapuni Section Closed for Rock Face Stabilisation

Karapiro — Atiamuri (1-4 days, 103km)

The Waikato River Trails experience brings your senses to life as you connect with nature at its best. This cycle trail follows New Zealand’s longest river, the mighty Waikato. It offers a multi-purpose walking and cycling experience, where around every corner there is a new vista.

Riders will experience the magic and beauty of native and exotic forest, wetlands, historic landmarks, intriguing volcanic rock formations and expansive lake and river views. Highlights include towering dams, suspension bridges and long meandering boardwalks.

Stories of the region’s rich history are signposted as your journey winds along the river. Riding the trail also offers the opportunity to enjoy the wonderful hospitality of New Zealand’s farming and forestry heartland – previously inaccessible land far from the hustle and bustle of the city.

A trail highlight is the variety of bridges – although the 152m-long Arapuni Swing Bridge and the Mangawera and Mangakino suspension bridges may be challenging if you have a fear of heights!

The Waikato River Trails was created through a partnership between the Waikato River Trails Trust, Mighty River Power, South Waikato District Council, Waikato Regional Council, Taupo District Council and the New Zealand Cycle Trail project.

Regular events for cycling, walking, running and multi-sports are held on the Waikato River Trails and provide a great way to challenge yourself and meet other trail users from all around the country. The next event is The Taniwha on 5 November 2015. This challenging yet achievable event sees individuals and teams of all levels of fitness running/walking or mountain biking the trails in a major participation event. There are various other events, the longest an 83km mountain bike course.

Be Prepared

IMPORTANT INFORMATION: Sometimes trail sections are closed due to logging operations. Check waikatorivertrails.com before starting out and respect closures and signage. Dogs are prohibited on many sections of the trail.

Dogs are prohibited on many sections of the trail.

MOBILE PHONE COVERAGE: Outside the small towns of Arapuni, Mangakino and Whakamaru, there is little to no mobile phone coverage.

Weather Info

The Waikato region enjoys a mild temperate climate. Summers can be hot and humid with generally mild winters.

Maximum daily temperatures range from 21 to 26°C in summer and 10 to 14°C in winter. Fogs often occur in winter, but usually lift to reveal a clear sunny day.

Winter can be wet and riding wet trails can damage the surface, so the best time to ride the Waikato River Trails is September through to May.

Trail Partner

Inspiration, News and Updates

Majestic rugged mountains, spectacular glaciers, wild coastlines, emerald blue lakes - it’s all here and within reach. New Zealand boasts an amazing variety of landscapes and equally amazing biking. This ultimate 14 day adventure offers the perfect opportunity to ride 3 of the famous cycle trails allowing you to achi...

 

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A proposed 530-kilometre continuous trail network across Otago has been granted $13.2 million through the Ngā Haerenga, the New Zealand Cycle Trail: Enhancement and Extension Fund. The Central Otago Queenstown Trail Network will see 122 kilometres of new trail, connecting four existing Great Rides in the area and c...
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TRAIL SAFETY UPDATE: Waikato River Trails DATE: 23 July 2018 ISSUE: Tree Felling - Detour in place Due to tree felling in Kinleith Forest, the Whakamaru Reserve camping and picnic area will be closed from Saturday 28 July to Friday 19 October 2018. For the safety of all riders, NO ACCESS, day or night is pe...

 

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TRAIL SAFETY UPDATE: Waikato River Trails DATE: 9 July 2018 ISSUE:  ARAPUNI SECTION - Waipapa Dam to Waotu South Road - CLOSED Please note that whilst the forestry work has been completed, this section remains closed as there is rock face stabilisation works above the trail being undertaken at Waipapa Dam. ...

 

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TRAIL SAFETY UPDATE: Waikato River Trails DATE: 8 July 2018 ISSUE: Whakamaru Section is OPEN. We are informed that the Whakamaru section is now open for riding.  ...

 

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TRAIL SAFETY UPDATE: Waikato River Trails DATE: 21 June 2018 ISSUE: Whakamaru Section (between MiCamp and Lake Whakamaru Reserve) is currently closed. Along with the current closure of Ongaroto Road (SH30) there is a significant rock slip across the trail which has resulted in the need to close this area unti...

 

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TRAIL SAFETY UPDATE:  Waikato River Trails DATE: 29 March 2018 ISSUE:  Arapuni Section OPEN for Easter The barriers closing off the Arapuni section from Waipapa Dam through to Waotu South Road will come down last thing today (29.3.18) and will be back in place first thing on Tuesday (3.4.18). Happy Easter...

 

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TRAIL SAFETY UPDATE: Waikato River Trails - ARAPUNI SECTION DATE: 19 February 2018 ISSUE: Trail closed from Waotu South Road to Waipapa Dam. Due to harvesting operations this section of the Trail is closed until further notice. Tour Aotearoa riders please use sign posted detour from Arapuni Dam to Waipapa Da...

 

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TRAIL SAFETY UPDATE:  Waikato River Trails (Waipapa Section) DATE:  12 February 2018 ISSUE:  WAIPAPA SECTION will remain OPEN We are pleased to advise this section of the trail will NOT be closed over the next few weeks as previously notified. However there will be traffic management in place. Please ob...

 

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TRAIL SAFETY UPDATE:  Waikato River Trails (Waipapa Section) DATE:  9 February 2018 ISSUE:  TEMPORARY CLOSURE - WAIPAPA SECTION As from Monday 12th February 2018 the Waipapa Section will be closed for approximately 3 weeks due to forestry work being undertaken. Strictly NO ADMITTANCE to the Waipapa Sect...

 

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TRAIL SAFETY UPDATE: Waikato River Trails (Karapiro Section) DATE: Effective from Monday 8 January 2018 ISSUE: 500m of trail at Lake Karapiro is closed for Maintenance from 8 January. An easy detour through the adjacent farm will be in place. We ask that you please stay in the marked area. The work is ex...

 

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TRAIL SAFETY UPDATE: Waikato River Trails DATE:  14 August 2017 ISSUE: Please note the section from Whakamuru Dam to Lake Whakamuru Reserve is now OPEN.  ...

 

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TRAIL SAFETY UPDATE: Waikato River Trails DATE: 16 May 2017 ISSUE: Trail Damage - Whakamuru Section Please be aware of the following holes in the trail just before MiCamp (by Dunhams Reserve). Please use detour in place along Ongoroto Road. Thank you....

 

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TRAIL SAFETY UPDATE: Waikato River Trails DATE: 9 December 2016 ISSUE: WHAKAMARU SECTION - Atiamuri Bridge start point to Tram Road. Part of the Whakamaru section (from the start point at the Atiamuri Bridge through to Tram Road) will be temporarily closed. This closure will come into effect today (Friday 9th D...

 

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Please note that the trail from the Atiamuri start point through to MiCamp has several trees down along the trail (Whakamaru Section). The Trail Maintenance Team has cleared the fallen trees along this section from MiCamp through to Whakamaru. We will provide further updates once received....

 

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** TRAIL OPEN ** Please note the Whakamaru section of the Waikato River Trails (from the start point at the Atiamuri Bridge through to Tram Road) is now open. Thank you for your patience. ...

 

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Upcoming Trail Closure Part of the Whakamaru section of the Waikato River Trails (from the start point at the Atiamuri Bridge through to Tram Road) will be closed from Friday 27th November and hopefully reopen on Monday 7th December 2015 due to logging operations. This will be an EXTREMELY HAZARDOUS area and we ...

 

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The Taniwha is set to hit the trails on Saturday 7 November 2015. This event celebrates the endeavours undertaken by the Waikato River Trails Trust over the past 13 years, culminating in around 100km of top quality trails, most of it on previously inaccessible land along the mighty Waikato River. This epic, challengin...

 

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Carole Durbin
The Waikato River Trails project is what New Zealand thinks of as heartland values - groups of people working together to create a new community project. CAROLE DURBIN – Former Chair, Mighty River Power