Rangiriri to Huntly

  • Walking

Once you've crossed the bridge, continue a further 150m around the first corner and there is a stile to take you across the first fence to this riverside track which runs parallel to Te Ōhākī Road. On a clear day, you'll see the orange-topped chimneys of the Huntly Power station standing in the distance. 

1.5km in, past Maurea Marae, there's a monument to the Ngāti Naho chief, Te Wheoro, whose personal history embodies the extraordinary stresses of colonial rule on Waikato Māori as they argued strategies to preserve tribal identity. Te Wheoro sided at first with the Crown. In 1857, he spoke against setting up a Māori king and, at the great conference of Māori leaders at Kohimarama in 1860, spoke again in favour of the Government. Governor Grey's British troops invaded Waikato territory in July 1863. In November that year, the British Troops overcame the Māori redoubt at Rangiriri, forcing the Māori King, Tāwhiao, out of Ngāruawāhia to sanctuary around Waitomo and Te Kūiti. In the years that followed, Te Wheoro acted as an intermediary for the Government's negotiation with the King. As a Māori MP over the next two decades, Te Wheoro witnessed Government decisions he saw as racist and finally became an implacable critic of the Native Land Court. He came to believe local self-government was right for Māori and in 1884, in company with Tāwhiao, he travelled to England to petition Queen Victoria for a redress of Māori land seizures.

At 7km, the track comes up to the Huntly Golf Course. The track follows the river, keeping behind a screen of trees, safe from the golf balls that ping up the 16th fairway. At the tee, it's safe to come out. The clubhouse is nearby and opens most weekends for hot food, maybe even a beer. Walkers are welcome.

The track follows the stopbank out to Te Ōhākī Road, to circumvent the Huntly Power Station's ash ponds. It stays on the road verge for another kilometre before ducking back onto the stopbanks, crossing Māori land between Te Ohaaki Marae and the river, then exits back onto the road. For the last 200m, it enters shady bush through the sculpture park in front of Huntly Power Station.

From the Sculpture Park, continue south along footpaths/road margins on Te Ōhākī Road - Harris Road - Riverview Road (500m into Hakarimata Road) turn right (south-west) into Parker Road. Walk 800m along this road to the Department of Conservation's Hakarimata Scenic Reserve.


Potential hazards:
  • Vehicles on road or track - the Glenmurray Bridge is one lane with a very
  • narrow footpath.
  • Farming operations
  • Track exposed to sun, wind or cold
  • Beware flying golf balls. Also, the Waikato River is dangerous. Don't swim in the river. Water erosion may undermine the bank near the river edge. Supervise children closely.
No dogs, guns, camping or fires

How to get here

Northern Start: Rangiriri Bridge (Junction of SH1 and Churchill East Road)
Southern End: Hakarimata Scenic Reserve, end of Parker Road

Track Elevation

Map of Track

More information

Waikato trail notes, including information about accommodation transport and resupplying

Mountain Safety Council Plan My Trip
Page last updated: Jan 5, 2021, 1:53 PM