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The Waikato is one of our favourite places in New Zealand because of its vibrant communities, lifestyle advantages and abundance of things to see and do. We’ve put together a list of things to check out!
The Pokeno Country Market
Not only home to giant ice-creams, the beautiful town of Pokeno in North Waikato hosts the Pokeno Country Markets every Sunday from 9am to 4pm in the Pokeno Village. The markets boast local produce, arts and crafts, and is a great way to get to know the locals and spend a casual day perusing.
A tour through the 1km long Nikau Caves is a must do in the North Waikato. Located on the beautiful West Coast and only 50 minutes from Te Kauwhata, the Nikau Caves are situated on a private farm, filled with stalactites, stalagmites, and glow worms that will amaze and delight you.
Nikau Cave has been open to the public for 14 years and is a relaxed adventure as you splash through small streams and climb over boulders into the heart of the Cave. There is a 90-minute guided tour where you can learn all about the Nikau Cave’s background and how it came to form. Afterwards, visitors can also enjoy a view of rocky limestone outcrops at the café with a hot drink or snack.
Invivo Wines Te Kauwhata Winery
There is one thing you need to know about the gorgeous New Zealand country town of Te Kauwhata. It’s the home of Invivo Wines.
The award winning Kiwi wine company, part owned by British talk show host Graham Norton, is located in the centre of Te Kauwhata in New Zealand’s oldest winery – which is aging very gracefully at a historic 114 years old.
The winery was designed and constructed in 1902 by the New Zealand government as the country’s first viticulture research station. Not only is the wine good, but the culture is truly Kiwi! Invivo co-founder and Chief Winemaker Rob “Crusher” Cameron’s approach to winemaking combines old world elegance with the best grapes he can lay his hands on, from New Zealand and around the world. The result? Bloody good wine, that’s what.
Mount William Walkway
The Mount William Walkway is only a 5-minute drive from Pokeno town centre and offers a beautiful panoramic view of the Waikato, Franklin, and part of the Auckland area from Mount William trig station. The walkway connects Puketutu Rd south of Bombay, and McMillan Rd, Mangatawhiri, with most of the walk being through open farmland. A short, but fairly steep, part of the track passes through regenerating native bush in the Mount William Scenic Reserve, between McMillan Rd and Mt William trig station.
Note: Since the walkway passes through sheep farms it may be closed during the lambing season between August 1 and October 1, and dogs are not permitted at any time.
Hampton Downs is a world class Motorsport Park and Events Centre. The home of roaring car engines and distinct smell of oil, Hampton Downs is located right in between Pokeno and Te Kauwhata, with only a 10 minute drive from either destination. The international motor racing has a packed schedule boasting exciting events popular with locals and visitors – offering everything from V8 supercar racing to drive your own car on the track days and everything in between, including a V8 supercar experience.
North Waikato is a popular spot for many reasons and has much to offer for every walk of life. If you’re looking to build in this area, make sure to check out our Land and House packages at www.summithomes.co.nz and read this article for more on why the mighty Waikato is our favourite!