Te Aroha

Also known as Aroha ki tai

Te Aroha is a volcanic peak in Kaimai-Mamaku Forest Park that provides the opportunity for a good rigorous day walk. There are a number of routes available and we describe two alternatives (returning by the same, or a different path) that walkers can try. At the end of the tramp, walkers can relax in the hot springs at Te Aroha and ease away their aches and pains!

Maori Legend

The translation of Te Aroha’s alternative name, Aroha ki tai, relates to one story that tells how the Arawa chief, Kahumatamomoe, was on his way home from visiting a kinsman at Kaipara. As was the habit of this explorer, he ascended to the highest possible point along the way. As he stood on top of the mountain, he decided to name it ?Aroha ki tai?. This was an expression of his love for his father, who was buried on Mount Moehau and his family who lived at Maketu.

List Status Official
Elevation 952 m (3,123 ft)
Location/List North Island, New Zealand
Region Waikato/Coromandel
Location Coordinates 37° 32′ 1″ S, 175° 44′ 32″ E
Nearest Town/s Te Aroha, Hamilton
Range Kaimai-Mamaku
Geology Volcano
Translation te: the; aroha: love
Recommended Route
Duration Help.gif 6 hours (return)
Distance 3.2 km (2 mi)
Start/End Points Te Aroha Domain
Difficulty Help.gif Medium
Track conditions Help.gif Track, Mud, Steep embankments
Season Help.gif All year
Sights Bush, Communications equipment(!) , lookout with views of the Waikato and Bay of Plenty, waterfall, historic mining, explosives store
Hazards High slippery underfoot

Getting There

By Car

Once in Te Aroha, head for the Te Aroha Domain (off Whitaker Street). The walk to Te Aroha Peak starts from behind Mokena Geyser.

Public Transport

Te Aroha is a small town and can be reached by the general public bus service. Check out your options at Intercity.

Google Earth Map

NZ Topographic Map

Our Recommended Route

From Te Aroha Domain, take the track which goes up to the Whakapipi/ Baldspur Lookout. The track goes uphill and passes through puriri trees and radiata plantations. On the way there are plenty of places to rest. At the lookout there are good views of Te Aroha and the surrounding countryside.

From the lookout the track continues onwards. It dips through a small saddle and then climbs to the summit (952 m). On the way up, the track becomes steep and the vegetation changes as you increase in altitude. The view from the summit affords 360? views over the Kaimai Ranges and the Waikato and Bay of Plenty regions. Ruapehu, Ngauruhoe and Taranaki are visible on a clear day.

From the summit you can either return to Te Aroha via the track you came up on, or take the Ridge Track/Tui Track back to the domain.

If you take the Ridge/Tui Tracks, the path descends by a combination of track and steps. Dog Kennel flat is reached after approximately 20 minutes, and shortly after this is an intersection where you must follow the Ridge track to Tui Saddle junction. Continue on past the Tui mines, where you can see old mine workings. The track also passes an old explosives store and crosses the mountain road, before joining the Tui Domain Track. Follow this track back to Te Aroha Domain.

Route Options

Options include-

  • Walking from Te Aroha Domain up to the summit via Whakapipi/ Baldspur Lookout and back the same way.
  • Walking from Te Aroha Domain up to the summit Whakapipi/ Baldspur Lookout and taking the Ridge Track/Tui Track back to the domain.

Height Profile

Te Aroha-2d.jpg