The Waikato River Trails are proud to be a member of the New Zealand Cycle Trails network. This great ride are centrally located on the doorstep of many of New Zealand's biggest cities and towns and is only a few hours from the international gateway of Auckland. The trails are popular with both cyclists and walkers.
The Waikato River Trails opened officially in November 2011 and are managed by the Waikato River Trails Charitable Trust. The Trust was formed in 2006 to develop a network of trails along the Waikato with the aim of bringing visitors to the beautiful South Waikato.
Over 20 businesses provide hospitality and services to visitors to the trails. Cafes, accommodation, bike hire and shuttle services provide a warm welcome.
About the trails
The trails are in the heart of the South Waikato and extend from Atiamuri Village in the south to the southern end of Lake Karapiro in the north. The trail is broken into 5 sections, each section named after the lake that the trail is connected to. For those doing the whole trail, most ride south to north or down stream. This does not mean downhill! For those riding individual sections riding either way is fine.
The 38.3km of trails at the southern end of the trail and the 11.5km at the northern end of the trails are intermediate grade the trails in the middle are graded advanced. The trails are generally 1.5 meters wide with compacted metal surfaces. There are plenty of toilets along the trail but limited drinking water so please be prepared.
Over 12,000 native trees planted each year
The access provided by the trails enables the Trust and to actively manage the river margins, as custodian of over 100km of the River the Trust plants over 12,000 native trees each year. The planting has a number of positives; the capture of nutrients, habitat and food source for birds and increasing biodiversity. All trees are planted by a committed team of volunteers.