4 of the best Hamilton hikes

Hamilton's river and gardens put you in the mood for wonderful walking It's a 45-minute walk around Hamilton Lake

9-year-old Tom Farrar with his dog 'Billy', a Miniature Schnauzer, playing in the puddles on the edge of Hamilton Lake. Photo / NZH
9-year-old Tom Farrar with his dog 'Billy', a Miniature Schnauzer, playing in the puddles on the edge of Hamilton Lake. Photo / NZH

1. The banks of the Waikato River

A favourite Hamilton route is along the river. Start by St Andrews Golf Course (parking at the end of St Andrews Tce), head for the water and then choose whether to go north or south. South will take you towards the city centre and under some pretty spectacular bridges, while north is fun for admiring the gardens of the householders who are lucky enough to call the water their fenceline. This path is shared by cyclists and walkers, so respect is expected from all parties.

2. Circumnavigate Hamilton Lake

Hamilton's Rotoroa Lake is just plain lovely and you can walk right around it. Centrally located, it's used for a wide variety of recreational activities and is also an important habitat for wildlife. The 3.8km loop path takes about 45 minutes to complete. And when you're done, you can enjoy the cafe, the fabulous park and the slide which has to be as long as Osh could possibly allow. It helps if you like ducks and swans.

3. Claudelands Bush (also known as Jubilee Park Boardwalk)

There's more to Claudelands than the showgrounds. Inside the block within Brooklyn Rd, Boundary Rd and Heaphy Tce, there's some very pleasant walking plus an excellent park with some of the best public play equipment you're likely to see anywhere. The Claudelands Bush is an excellent place to roam around, with giant rimu and kahikatea to impress. Happily, the gnarled roots are protected by elevated walkways.

4. Hamilton City Traverse - Pukete Rd to Taitua Rd

Saving the longest to last, this 16.5km ramble is a doozy and shares some ground with the other walks in this list. From north to south, start at the northern end of Braithwaite Park and finish at the Taitua Arboretum in Hamilton West. The ramble takes about four hours depending on your stride. Passing through the centre of town, it's a great combination of urban and rural. For precise directions, go to: teararoa.org.nz

- NZ Herald

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf04 at 21 Nov 2014 10:50:27 Processing Time: 980ms