Te Awamutu is a town in the Waikato in the North Island of New Zealand. Located approximately 30 km south of Hamilton on State Highway 3, Te Awamutu services the surrounding rural area, and has a population of approximately 14,000.
Although not generally considered a tourist destination, Te Awamutu has plenty to offer with many options to dine and drink, a modern library and an adequate museum, a number of parks, indoor swimming facility and it’s close proximity to lakes Karapiro, Ngaroto , and Arapuni, and Mt. Kakepuku and Pirongia for those that enjoy a little hiking.
The close proximity to more popular spots such as Raglan beach , Waitomo Caves and Hobbiton, all within an hours drive, make Te Awamutu a great central location as you explore the region.
What To Do
- Head to the Rose Gardens near the information centre on the northern entrance into town. From here you can follow the river to the memorial gardens, designed in memory of the local soldiers who have lost their lives in various wars.
- Visit the Te Awamutu Museum on Roche Street ( off the main street )
- Take a drive to Lake Ngaroto ( 5 mins ) . The lake is not suitable for swimming but has a lot of wildlife and a recently completed walking track around the entire lake. You can camp here for free also and their are toilets and Barbecue facilities available.
- Climb Mt. Kakepuku for a great view over the Waikato on a clear day.
- Catch a movie at the Regent movie theater, which has been operating since 1932.
- Check out the Lake Arapuni or Karapiro. Both are suitable for swimming, kayaking , fishing and other water sports, as well as various walking trails, including the Arapuni Swingbridge ( shortwalk ) which was built in 1925 and you can still cross.
- Enjoy a beer or coffee and meal at one of the various dining establishments. See below.
- Maungatautari Ecological Island is just a ten minute drive east, on the way to Lake Arapuni, and is a ring fenced mountain which only contains New Zealand native wildlife. See how New Zealand was 200 years ago!
Where To Eat
Faranheit upstairs at the east end of the main street has a range of meal options, as does The Redoubt at the opposite end of the main street. Both are also good just to have a drink, whether at lunchtime or in the evening, although the Redoubt is more of a bar and does at times have live music or other entertainment.
Walton street cafe has great coffee and good vegetarian options, and there are numerous international foods available, notably Indian and Thai.