The Te Awa Cycleway or the Great New Zealand River Ride as it is known will stretch From Ngaruawahia North of Hamilton City in the Waikato down to the Arapuni Power station at the head of Lake Karapiro a distance of around seventy kms, not all the sections of the ride are connected in one continuous length however they are connected by road.
Most of the Great River Ride is a paved surface so is rideable is most conditions, at present the section from Ngaruawahia to Horotiu is under construction, so the ride presently starts at Horotiu just North of Hamilton city and follows the Waikato River to Meadow View Lane and a short ride along Pukete Road and reconnects at the Hamilton Equestrain Centre.
From the Equestrain Centre the cycleway threads along the Waikato River and through the Hamilton Suburbs and the outskirts of the cbd untill you get to Coban drive here you need to cross the river over the bridge and enter the Hamilton Gardens which at this time is the end of this section, however you can get back on the roads and cycle to the next section which is the Avantidrome.
The Avantidrome is just North of Cambridge in the Waikato and this section starts at the bmx and training track most of this section is through farmland and also follows the banks of the Waikato river to Hall st in Cambridge from here you need to navigate the streets again, cross back over the Waikato River to Leamington and Browning st where the river ride once again starts.
From Leamington The Great River Ride takes you through to the Karapiro Hydro dam, here you can cross over the dam face to Karapiro township on the other side and get a great view of Lake Karapiro however you need to cross back over to continue along the cycleway the ride eventually takes you to Manugatautari road and you follow this road all the way to the bridge and here you cross over the lake.
Once over Lake Karapiro head to Tirau road this is the main hwy and very busy, follow Tirau road for a few kms to Horahora rd and a long cycle along here until you reach the River bridge and the cycleway commences again from the carpark, this part of the ride is not paved but gravel and is rideable in most conditions this is a long ride along the lake edge until you arrive at the base of the Arapuni Power Station.
You will come to a paved road turn right down the road and over the bridge here you can see the power station sitting on the cliff face, a short distance up the road is the Arapuni Swing bridge walking out on the bridge you have a great view of the Waikato down below and the power station, stay on the Powerhouse road and this takes you through to the Arapuni Dam face and the end of the ride.