Taitua Arboretum is one of the most stunning places in the Waikato. Near Whatawhata, not far out of Hamilton, it is 20 acres of beautiful trees, ponds and trails. It is an on-lead dog area (note – all dogs in this blog post were either on lead with leads removed in Photoshop, or we had special permission from the council to have dogs off lead for a workshop that day), and has a couple of kilometres of tracks on various circuits, ranging from flat to steep depending on what trails you do. It’s mostly metalled tracks with some board walks and bridges over ponds and streams, so is easy enough for a decent push chair making it the ideal outing for the whole family.
The Aboretum is particularly beautiful in Autumn, with amazing colours as the leaves drop. It’s even more stunning in the early morning when the golden light is filtering through the trees.
There are many different types of trees throughout the arboretum, and it’s a lot of fun exploring to see the different areas. There is a map at the main entrance so you can work out where you want to go.
One of the many bridges over the ponds. The ponds are full of swans and other birds.
There are many great places for dogs to pose at the arboretum, including these great tree stumps!
Car park – Lots of parking. Be aware of the many chickens who call the car parking area home. They are generally friendly, but are sometimes a bit slow at getting out of the way of moving vehicles so drive carefully.
Toilets – At the main car park.
Bins – At the main car park possibly, otherwise take any rubbish home with you.
Water available – At the main car park. I always recommend taking your own anyway, just in case.
Other – In addition to the many birds, there is often livestock grazing in various areas of the arboretum, so keep your dog well under control (it is an on-leash area, please respect that) and go around paddocks that contain stock. Always leave gates how you found them.
For a bit of a longer walk, you can also walk to the Arboretum from the Hamilton side, via a track through Till’s lookout (access via Melva St) which heads up to a road with a footpath directly to the Arboretum tracks. Till’s lookout does have an off-lead area if you want your dog to be able to stretch their legs.
If you’re looking for a bite to eat after visiting the Arboretum, Cafe Lola is great & is allows dogs to sit at the outside tables. It’s located at the corner Whatawhata & Dinsdale Rds (at the shopping centre by the round about), in Dinsdale.