What to Do in Te Kuiti: The Sheep Shearing Capital of New Zealand
Ideally located between Waitomo and the Timber Trail on the North Island, Te Kuiti makes an interesting base for exploring some of the North Island’s biggest attractions. The town’s main claim to fame though is that it hosts the New Zealand Shearing Championships every year making it the “Shearing Capital of New Zealand”. To mark this, Te Kuiti has a giant statue at the entrance to the town that’s not to be missed! For more things you can’t miss, check out this list of things to do in Te Kuiti!
1. Cycle the Timber Trail
The Timber Trail might be 45 minutes drive from Te Kuiti, but the town is still one of the closest and that’s the beauty of the Timber Trail! This 84km bike trail makes its way through the lush forests of the Pureora Forest Park following an old logging trail. Highlights include the breathtaking views from Mt Pureora Summit, the wealth of bird life, the long suspension bridges and the only rideable railwayspiral in the world. Bike shuttles and hire are available in town.
Location: Barryville Road, 53km from Te Kuiti
2. Snap Up a Photo of the Sheep Shearer
Don’t miss the pride of the town, the Shearing Statue! Weighing7.5 tonnes, the Shearing Statue is an impressive sight and a great photo opportunity. Other large statues in the town include the Bronze Bat and the Weta Wall.
Location: Beginning of State Highway 30, on the corner of Waitete Road and Lawrence Street
3. See the Glowworms at Waitomo
Te Kuiti is a fantastic place to base yourself while exploring the caves of Waitomo! Choose from adrenaline activities such as caving and abseiling to guided glowworms walks at the must-do Waitomo Caves. Check out 6 Ways to Take On the Waitomo Caves for more inspiration.
Location: State Highway 37, 18km from Te Kuiti
4. Check Out the Tatsuno Japanese Garden
See a combination of New Zealand and Japanese plants at the Tatsuno Japanese Garden. Established a gift to the town’s sister city in Japan, the Tatsuno Japanese Garden has a magnificent collection of plants, as well as interesting sculptures and features. See the Azumaya tea house, the San-kyu-daki waterfall, Gata stone lantern and much more.
Location: Rora Street
5. See the Waterfall at the Mangaokewa Reserve
Stop for a picnic or take the 1-hour return walk to a cascading waterfall at the Mangaokewa Reserve. The walk delves into the native bush with a highlight at the end being the attractive Cascade Falls. The reserve also has a walking track which is part of the Te Araroa Trail following the Mangaokewa River.
Location: State Highway 30, 2km south of Te Kuiti