Approximately 30 minutes out of Hamilton, this reserve is one of the few proper bush walks which allows dogs in the Waikato. I grew up on a farm just around the corner, and used to visit this reserve back when I was a student at Tauhei School. It was really neat to come back and see all the improvements that have been made over the years since I was last there. Spring, Flight and I spent about an hour and a half exploring, covering a bit over 5km which included the loop track to the summit the Mangatea stream track.
We headed in over the bridge then headed right towards the clearing. There’s a good picnic area here, with tracks leading off in different directions.
We opted to tackle the summit track first, and took a narrow, steep path right to the top. It’s a bit of a climb, but most people with a decent level of fitness should be fine. At the top there is a viewing tower where you have a great view towards the various mountains which border this flat area, including Pirongia, the Hakarimatas and Taupiri.
Heading down we went the other way (signs to carpark) which was mostly board walks and steps. Such a huge amount of work has gone into these tracks and protecting the area. There are also signs from time to time, pointing out different types of trees and information about the area.
Once we got back to the track where we started, we went back through the clearing and on to the Mangatea stream track. This is a much flatter, easier path, more suitable for the younger kids than the summit track, and has a few picnic areas along it as well as some neat bridges. Cool way to add a bit more distance to the walk and see more of the reserve.
The end result – happy dogs + owner, and a good work out!
On lead only.
Car park – Well sign posted off main road. Good gravel area to park, though can be busy.
Toilets – No
Bins/Water – No, take everything you need and take everything away with you.
Other – This walk is bordered by farm land and has a lot of wild life including native birds, so it is really important that dog owners keep their dogs on lead so that we can all continue to enjoy this great spot.