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Biking the Waikato River Trails

Glyn Wooller

Waikato River Trails recently attended the motorhome and campervan show at Mystery Creek, Hamilton. We were delighted and slightly overwhelmed with the interest in cycling, particularly from those with ebikes, and the keen interest in the camping areas along the trails.

Here’s the exciting opportunities for your stay and cycle journey on the Waikato River Trails.

The Trails are just over 100km long, extending from Atiamuri in the south to Lake Karapiro in the north. Seventy km is off-road and just over 30km on-road. The Trails largely sit close to the beautiful Waikato River with stunning scenery along each bend and it touches the villages of Atiamuri, Whakamaru, Mangakino and Arapuni. Cafés await you at Whakamaru, Mangakino and Arapuni.

About half the use of the Trails is cycling the other half walking or running.

Now the great news, if you have a campervan or caravan.

Thanks to South Waikato and Taupo District Councils there are a number of fantastic riverside reserves available for camping, each directly connected to the trails. Dunhams reserve, Lake Whakamaru, Whakamaru reserve, Mangakino Lakefront reserve, Lake Mareatai, Jones Landing, Lake Arapuni and Little Waipa Reserve, Lake Karapiro.

The Waikato River Trails website has detailed maps including all reserve locations. For maps and more information about the Waikato River Trails visit our website

Have a great summer and we hope to see you on the trail — enjoy the ride, the cafes and remember if you need a shuttle there are great operators to help you out.

A request from South Waikato District Council

Freedom camping is welcomed at the following South Waikato District reserves: Little Waipa, Jones Landing, Lake Whakamaru Reserve and Dunhams Point. All these camping reserves have public toilets, BBQ, rubbish bins and shower facilities. Also boat ramp access.

Council ask that you get a camping permit from the council website, it only takes a few minutes:

Glyn Wooller, Waikato River Trails

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