What to Do in Te Awamutu: The Town of Roses
At first glance, the town of Te Awamutu might seem like just another small dairy farming town in the Waikato of New Zealand. Hopefully, with this list of things to do in Te Awamutu, you’ll see that it’s so much more! Te Awamutu gets its nickname of the “Town of Roses” from its fertile lands that are utilised by man and wildlife. See birds in wildlife havens at the nearby Mount Maungatautari and Lake Rotopiko or galavant through the blueberry and lavender fields, buying the produce straight from the farm. What Te Awamutu offers is a true Kiwi experience in the North Island. And don’t worry, it has a rose garden too.
1. Watch the Wildlife at Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari
Nature-lovers, don’t miss the native wildlife haven of Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari. Protected by a predator-proof fence, Sanctuary Mountain contains an ancient forest rich with native birdlife. Enjoy one of the many walks through the forest or take a guided tour to the tuatara and takahe enclosure to see some of the rarest and most fascinating wildlife in New Zealand.
Location: 99 Tari Road, 28km (17.4 miles) from Te Awamutu
2. Walk Around Lake Serpentine and Lake Ngaroto
More wildlife can be spotted at Lake Serpentine, a.k.a Rotopiko. This wildlife sanctuary has a research and educational facility with fun information panels around the lake that are great for kids and kids-at-heart. If that wasn’t enough, more lake and wetland adventures await at Lake Ngaroto with a 1h30min loop walk to enjoy around the lake.
Location: Lake Serpentine – State Highway 3, 10km (6.2 miles) north of Te Awamutu. Lake Ngaroto – Bank Road, 7km (4.3 miles) north of Te Awamutu
3. Visit the Local Lavender Farm
Among the dairy fields is something a little different – something to add a bit of colour to the landscape. The Alphra Lavender Farm is open from December to February offering free tours of the farm, as well as selling a range of boutique lavender products. Otherwise, pop in for a colourful photo opportunity!
Location: Allen Road, 9km (5.6 miles) south of Te Awamutu
4. Pick Your Own Blueberries
Another seasonal activity showcasing the fertile lands surround Te Awamutu is the blueberry orchards of Blueberry Country. Between December and March, pop in for the chance to pick your own blueberries! That’s a healthy and delicious snack for the road! Find the sister orchard on your travels in Ngatea, with more information in our 5 Fun Things to Do in Ngatea.
Location: Jary Road, 11km (6.8 miles) north of Te Awamutu
5. Visit the Te Awamutu Museum
Every small town in New Zealand has a museum and the Te Awamutu Museum is certainly one of the most well-appointed. With ever-changing exhibitions, you’ll never know what you’ll find, but in an area which was a significant part of the Waikato Wars and often holding important relics of the local Tainui people, you’re sure to find something to pique your interest.
Location: 135 Roche Street
6. Smell the Roses at the Te Awamutu Rose Gardens
Finally, what sort of “Town of Roses” would not have a rose garden?! Don’t worry, Te Awamutu doesn’t fall short. Just across the road from the i-SITE is the Te Awamutu Rose Gardens made up of more than 2,500 rose bushes and an attractive water fountain. The best time to visit while the flowers are in bloom is from November to May.
Location: Gorst Avenue