Heritage Trail

Take a walk - there's lots to see and do

These villages, nestled amid the central North Island hydro developments are a great hub from which to explore the region.

Explore the riverside trails either on foot or by bike along New Zealand's longest river - the might Waikato. The Waikato River Trails cover about 100km of previously inaccessible southern Waikato land. They wind their way along a path that encompasses the magic and beauty of New Zealand's native bush, exotic forest, historic landmarks, interesting rock formations and geological delights.



During the height of the Waikato hydro development in the late 1940s through until the 1970s Mangakino was a bustling town built to cater for an international work force.

Today the tranquil lakeside village of Mangakino is the perfect place to enjoy the stunning lake and scenery. The village lies on the western shores of Lake Maraetai and becomes a hive of activity in summer when watersports enthusiasts, mountain bikers, hikers and families flock to the small village.

Learn of the town's intriguing history by following the trail of heritage panels around the town.


Picnic beside the hydro lake at Whakamaru and enjoy the aquatic facilities at Sandy Bay. Walk the newly opened heritage trail (marked on the map) to discover more about this delightful part of New Zealand.