Hakarimata walkway the long way to the top at least for this walk anyway. The walkway is just north of Ngaruawahia out side of Hamilton in the Waikato, the track starts on Brownlee Avenue, off Hakarimata Road. from Brownlee Avenue it is a 335 m climb to the summit, the first part of the track is easy going with a few sets of moderate stairs and a stroll along the river side up to the small water fall and dam.
Just before the small dam you fork of to the right and with over 1350 steps to go and some of these steps fairly steep the going gets tough, it would take you around the one hour mark to walk to the summit and from talking to people on the trail these steps are popular with the runners for training purposes.
Once you are at the top there is a viewing platform that yes you have to climb more steps to get up there, as if you have not climbed enough already, but the view is well worth the effort getting there as you can see 360 views out to Raglan and the greater waikato and beyond.
From the summit there are two other options to return down other than the route you took to get here in the first place, the first option is right in front of the viewing platform this track takes you down to Parker road on the Northern side of the Hakarimata ranges and will take around 5hrs one way.
The other option is back down the track you come up on and just before you head back down the steps there is an other track right in front of you this track is not the same as the steps and can be muddy when it has been raining this track takes you back down to Waingaro Road around 4hrs depending on your fitness.
If you start at the water works track you will need some one to pick you up or face a long walk back up the road more so if you take the Parker road exit as this is on the other side of the ranges and a very long walk back to Brownlee Avenue, this is a great walk and harder than the average walk because of the relentless steps but well worth the effort.
Hakarimata Water Works Track