Explore WaikatoAlongside all the adrenaline pumping activities on offer, the Hamilton and Waikato region also boasts plenty of natural attractions and relaxing alternatives, from hiking to summits, to retreats for those looking to unwind and focus on their health and wellness this winter.

Summit Tracks

Lovers of the great outdoors are spoilt for choice with a range of summits to conquer.

The walking tracks up and around Mt Te Aroha offer stunning views across the region filled with native bird-song.

The Summit Track starts at the Mokena Geyser in Te Aroha Domain and quickly ascends to the Whakapipi Lookout.

The lookout provides panoramic views over the Hauraki Plains before the track continues through a small saddle and then steeply up to reach the top. From the summit, there are 360 degree views across the Waikato and Bay of Plenty regions, and Mt Ruapehu, Mt Ngauruhoe and Mt Taranaki are all visible on a clear day.

Time: 45 minutes one way to Whakapipi Lookout, three hours one way to summit

For those looking to push themselves, tackle Mt Pirongia, one of the highest peaks in Waikato.

The Tirohanga Track will take you to the summit through steep and at times challenging terrain. A lookout tower at the top of Tirohanga track offers panoramic views of the surrounding area.

An easier but slightly longer route is the Tahuanui Track, which branches off the Nikau Walk. This track climbs steadily up a tawa-clothed ridge and joins the Tirohanga track five minutes from the summit. Take it one step further and challenge yourself to spend a night on the mountain in the Pahautea Hut.

Mt Karioi also offers a challenging full day hike, with stunning views of the west coast from the summit, while smaller mountains such as Kakepuku, and Hakarimata are equally rewarding.

Experiences and retreats

If a retreat is more your thing, there are a number of experiences in the region to help you de-stress and revitalise.

Te Atawhai wellness retreat is a holistic health and wellness experience located at the foot of the majestic Mt Te Aroha. Their four-day wholeness experience has been carefully designed to reset our modern day living rhythms in a way that brings about lasting change to our health, vitality, wellness and zest for life. Starting with the most powerful driver of change, our mind, Te Atawhai helps to create a new sense of awareness and mindfulness around nutrition, movement and mind management.

Solscape Eco Retreat in Raglan is designed as a place for rest, rejuvenation and playful inspiration, to nurture our connection with each other and the natural world. Guests can choose from a variety of eco accommodation options, enjoy yoga, surf lessons, massage and holistic bodywork, as well as plant-based cuisine, all in the pure beauty of Raglan.

Sakura is tucked away in the beautiful, mystical rolling hills of Waikato and has created retreats to help guest de-stress, revitalise and rediscover themselves. With support from the Sakura team, guests will undertake a journey of self-inquiry so as to return to everyday life with a renewed sense of purpose and tools to support health, vitality and overall wellbeing.

You can visit Sakura as a day guest at one of their courses or scheduled events, a retreat guest, or spend some time enjoying our luxurious accommodation and beautiful surroundings as a homestay guest.

Or opt for the best of both worlds and enjoy a multi-day hiking adventure, complete with delicious dining options to top it off with a tour with Nature & Nosh.

For more information on these and other great activities and attractions (suitable for those with an adventurous spirit as well as those who appreciate nature at a more relaxed pace), check out www.hamiltonwaikato.com