Here are our Top Five family-friendly adventures to keep the kids happy, and tucker out the family pooch. They are all within 30 minutes of Hamilton so great for a mini-outing to grab some fresh air and escape the house.
Yarndley's Bush | Near Te Awamutu
This easy walk loops through one of the last remnants of kahikatea swamp forest in the region. The boardwalk winds between large kahikatea root buttresses and leads to a viewing platform perched among towering kahikatea (spooky when windy!). Aside from a relatively steep grassed slope on the way to the walk, this adventure suits all abilities.
Time: Allow 30 to 45 min to complete the loop.
Location: Ngaroto Road of SH3.
Accessibility: Well graded dirt and grassed paths, and boardwalk suitable for buggies.
Lake Kainui | Horsham Downs
An easy lake loop just north of Hamilton with loads of variety for dogs. This track meanders through stands of native trees and grassed areas. A range of different maimais are dotted around the lake – from ramshackle to quite impressive!
Time: Allow 60 min (3.3km) for a casual stroll.
Location: Horsham Downs Road.
Accessibility: Well graded trail. Can be soft and muddy in winter. Suitable for buggies and bikes.
Important: Gates open daily during daylight hours. Closed during duck hunting season.
Newstead Walkway | Newstead
Loads of murky swamps and towering eucalyptus trees to entertain the whole family. In the middle of this walk is a glade surrounded by some of the tallest eucalyptus trees in New Zealand. Plenty of fallen trunks are scattered around the glade for some serious sniffing action.
Time: Allow 60 min return to walk the 3 km track.
Location: The easiest entrance is on Vaile Road near the Hamilton Car Club.
Accessibility: Well graded dirt and grassed paths suitable for buggies and bikes.
For more information: Visit Newstead Walkway on our Adventure Blog.
A.J. Seeley Gully | Hamilton East
This hidden gem tucked away near Te Aroha Street used to be the stomping ground for donkeys Abigail, Ebenezer, Jessica and Rebecca! But over six decades Dr. Alwyn J. Seeley has transformed the weedy gully into a shady retreat for tui and native plants. This is a perfect mini-adventure to get off the beaten track in the middle of the city.
Time: Allow 30 min for a relaxed explore.
Location: The best parking is at the end of Armagh Street.
Accessibility: Stairs mean this adventure is just for walking.
Lake Rotokauri | Rotokauri
Wander through regenerating wetlands to a pretty peat lake just north of Hamilton. This lake is one of the largest peat lakes in the region and is a nice easy stroll with the pooch. There is a picnic table and seat where you can relax and do some bird-spotting. There is very little shade so remember to slip, slop and slap before heading out.
Time: Allow 45 to 60 min to walk the loop.
Location: Parking is available at the end of Bunyard Road near Rotokauri School.
Accessibility: Suitable for buggies and bikes.
Looking for more dog-friendly walks? Our Hamilton & Waikato guidebook has 100+ outdoor adventures including dog-exercise parks and walks where the family pooch is welcome.