This might be one of my favourite walks we’ve done so far! Stretching along the base of Mount Te Aroha, the Tui Domain Track (also sign posted as Tui Mine Track) is a beautiful & quiet walk, with most sections suitable for most people and dogs.
This track can be as easy or as difficult as you choose, with an easy main track and but more interesting & challenging side tracks to various points of interest. The final section of the track from the water race through to Tui Road is also quite challenging with lots of steps, narrow & slippery sections and steep drops – more suited to fitter dogs and people. There are multiple entry/exit points along the way, but we chose to start from the Te Aroha Domain. The track starts near the geyser (which wasn’t going when we were there), and heads into this bush area.
After a short walk, there are sign posted side tracks heading to the main waterfall & old reservoir. This is a short walk with steps, which leads to this magical spot. Tutumangao Waterfall with a pond at the bottom which the dogs can swim in, a gorgeous view over Te Aroha looking towards Morrinsville & Hamilton. The exit from the waterfall area is via a rocky trail over a couple of boulders with a drop on either side – leading to a stile over a fence and a trail to Noel’s Look Out. Spring (my foster pup) wasn’t so sure about the stile but with some encouragement she clambered over. Super cool side trip, and if you’re after a cool short walk, this would be a great section to check out.
Carrying on, you pass past the water treatment plant with the track re connecting on the other side of the road.
There are a ton of bridges on this track, from flat open ones through to more rickety narrow bridges. Great confidence building for the dogs experiencing all these different types of things!
Next we reached the water race. It wasn’t super impressive when we were there as it wasn’t really flowing but it did make a great spot for the dogs to cool off!
If you’re less fit or want to skip the trickiest bit, this is where the easier bit ends. The next part is a 20 minute climb up tree roots & steps, with a steep drop to the side – take care!
The May Flower Mine Shaft is right next to the track!
This is where we turned around and headed back to the domain. We headed towards the “Waterfall View” over a very dodgy & narrow track with a sheer drop on the side but it was in accessible due to a slip. Another great view though!
Back at the domain, we found this cool water fountain with a bowl of water provided for the dogs. In a country that can be relatively unwelcoming towards dogs, it is really always appreciated when places do simple things like this to make dog owners feel welcome there.
Car Parking – Outside of the Domain on Boundary Street. There is a dedicated car park for trampers & mountain bikers, or there is street parking available.
Toilets/Bins/Water – Yes, at domain. Dogs can drink from/swim in streams/ponds along the way – great for a warmer day!
Other – Not all the tracks on Mt Te Aroha are dog friendly. If you’d like to explore other tracks on Mt Te Aroha, you can check which ones allow dogs here.