Waiwhakareke Natural Heritage Park is an ecological restoration project situated on the outskirts of Hamilton, attempting to bring back Hamilton’s native flora and fauna. The park is owned and managed by Hamilton City Council, with help from Waikato University, Wintec, Waikato Regional Council and Tui2000. More information about the history, the park, and the project can be found on the Hamilton City Council web site.
One entry to the park is located on Brymer Road, directly across the road from the entrance to Hamilton Zoo. The intention is to create a hub with a common arrival space and facilities. The plantings in the park have been ongoing since 2004, but the park was only open to the public from mid-November 2019. Continue reading
There are walking tracks, also used as cycle tracks, on both sides of the Tarawera River where it runs through Kawerau, with bridges over the river on SH34 at the northern end, by the golf course (pedestrian only) at the southern end, and on Waterhouse Street about halfway between the two ends. The tracks on the western (town) side of the river mainly pass through reserves and parks with no fixed marked tracks, with the ones on the eastern side the tracks rougher, also unmarked, and partly overgrown. Total track length is about 4.7km on the west side and 5.3km on the east.
There is parking available by Waterhouse Street and Firmin Field, on Porritt Drive, and in Tarawera Park. Toilets can be found at the entry off Waterhouse Street to Firmin Field. Continue reading
Note December 9, 2020: The track has reopened, probably some time ago, after a new rail bridge was constructed.
Te Ara Kahikatea Pathway is a 4 km long walkway and cycleway passing through wetlands and alongside Waiari Stream on the eastern outskirts of Te Puke. The pathway starts and ends at the Hera Memorial adjacent to a parking area off Commerce Lane. The pathway crosses over Jubilee Park and runs along Stock Rd and King St before forming a loop around a rural part of Te Puke.
The pathway was established by volunteers organised by Te Ara Kahikatea Pathway Incorporated Society starting in 2011, and was officially opened in April 2018 by the mayor of Western Bay of Plenty District Council. A mix of native plants, including kahikatea, have been planted alongside the pathway.