I challenge you to complete the following nine walks over the summer months. I recommend you begin with the first three walks before tackling the last five walks. Walks 1, 2, and 3 are mostly flat walks that can prepare you for the more challenging walk of up to the top of the Mount (4) – these walks are all local. The second set of walks requires some preparation and is best done with friends for support.
Click on bold walk titles for link to walk web page.
Good luck, enjoy, and remember these safety tips for each walk:
- Wear appropriate footwear and clothing.
- Take water and snacks.
- Always let someone know what you’re doing, particularly if you’re doing bush walks and/or you’re on your own).
Complete these nine walks over the summer months:
Beach front walk – 1 hour minimum. Get your bare feet in the sand and don’t be surprised if your calf muscles and Achilles tendon gets a bit stiff and sore afterwards – this is normal.
- Harbour drive to Furgusson Park return – 1 hour (approx. 6km). The best time of the day to complete this walk is early in the morning, particularly when the tide is in, with the sun glistening off the water. Easy walk.
- Pilot Bay track and Mount Base track – 1 hour. Park at the Police Station end of Pilot Bay (in the car park) and walk down boardwalk, around Mount base track (either way) and return. Best time of day is early evening to watch sunset over Kiamis.
- Mount summit from Mount Drury carpark – 1hr-20mins. Park in or around the car park at the base of Mount Drury. Follow the board walk to grass area outside of Surf Club. I recommend you take the four wheel drive track to the summit – walk past the hot pools and take the pathway as indicated in photo. This climb involves stairs and a decent climb up a steep gradient. You will raise your heart rate, sweat, and maybe have some slight discomfort in your legs – this is normal.
- The walkways in Tauriko subdivision – 50mins -1.3hrs. There are multiple options here. You can park at Maudes café (or car park opposite) and take an easy flat walk around the lakes. Alternatively, you can walk up Rexford Heights and follow the flax lined pathways that opens to vistas across the low lands and framed by the Kiamis. Additionally, there is a lookout which is accesses from ‘Lakes Boulevard’ after the second roundabout. Enjoy the ducks and swans.
- Otanewianuku Forrest walks – option 1; 2 hours, option 2; 1 hour. Both walks offer easy bush tracks which can be safely negotiated with walking shoes. Lots to see, feel, and enjoy. Tracks have identification of tree species, a waterfall, or a lookout.
- Wairere Falls – only 3km but a 90min walk. This is a walk to test your legs and joints not too mention it’s a real heart thumper. Be sure to take your time and keep your concentration as it is a bumpy track in places. After a steady rise you will come to the steps – 121 of them in fact. Here the work begins and the heart rate increases but don’t despair as at the end of the stairway is a platform and a magnificent view of the waterfall. Continue up a steep rise and soon your at the top. Walk on the flat for about 7- 10 mins and you will be standing on another platform at the top of the waterfall and over looking the whole of Matamata and a good chunk of the Waikato basin.
- The Lindemann Loop – 4 -5 hour bush walk. Take Lindemann road (1km North of Katikati) and park in carpark at top of road. Vista is magnificent. This is a challenging walk. The path is well used and simple to follow yet you will need to be concentrating on your footing. I completed the track in sneakers but if you are unsure please wear firm walking/tramping shoes. The Ridge Track is very steep and again will require sure footing. It is very important you take your backpack with a good supply of water and warm clothing as you climb up to over 1700 feet plus snacks or even a full lunch.
- Mount TeAroha – 6 hours. This is a great challenge. It’s steep with multiple stunning vistas and a spectacular view of the Bay of Plenty, Thames, Coromandel, and Waikato Basin at the top. Click here to access the map. Take routes 6,7,9, and 5 (in that order). A slightly quicker option is to take the road down to join track 5. This is a great challenge. Ensure you take lots of water, snacks (lunch), and wear good walking/tramping shoes. Additionally, take your camera. You’re welcome.