Things to Do

Things To Do

Putaruru is centrally located in the heart of the South Waikato, mainly servicing the local dairy industry. Much of New Zealand’s bottled water comes from the Blue Springs in Putaruru. You can stroll to the springs along the riverside Te Waihou Walkway.

Putaruru is located a 45 to 60 minute drive to Tauranga, Rotorua, Hamilton, or Taupo, making for the perfect central location! Home of the picturesque Blue Springs and sparse farmlands this area is great for hiking, trout fishing, and everything outdoors.

Located mid-way between Tokoroa and Tirau, the rural town of Putaruru is close to Lake Arapuni on the Waikato River. The area has a history of farming and timber growing.

From a recreational point of view, it’s a fisherman’s paradise. Within a 20 kilometre radius of the town, there are 20 rivers stocked with rainbow and brown trout.

If you have time, wander along the Te Waihou Walkway to find the Blue Springs. The water here is so pure it creates a beautiful blue hue, whilst remaining almost clear.

Putaruru has a timber museum and a decorative waterpark, which is adorned with mosaics and native plants. It is also home to the New Zealand Cheese School and Over the Moon Cheese factory.

Nearby Arapuni offers the perfect place to get on an off the Waikato River Trails, not to mention the impressive Arapuni Swing bridge. The trail stretches 103km from Lake Karapiro in the north to Lake Whakamaru in the south, and can be ridden as one trail, or broken into smaller trails, each of varying grades.

Putaruru services the local farming community and has numerous boutique shops and cafes boasting homemade cuisine – all a short walk from Rangiura Village and Care Services.

Putaruru and the greater South Waikato has a strong community presents within schools, local clubs, iwi and churches providing every day support to our elder community….

TE WAIHOU Walk to the Blue Spring

The walkway is a distance of 4.7 kilometres, with an average walking time of 1.5 hours (3 hours return). The terrain varies from easy walking to backcountry trekking with stile crossings. In some areas the track has been benched and steps constructed through the gorge area. Hazards such as waterfalls, electric fences and livestock may be encountered along the way.

Getting to Te Waihou is easy. The Whites Road carpark is on State Highway 28, which feeds off both State Highway 1 and 5.


Thirteen different tracks meander through the Jim Barnett Reserve. The tracks are of varying lengths, but all are easy walking with a few short, steep sections, negotiable for people of most fitness levels.

Tracks are shared with the Waikato River Trails, please be aware of cyclists on the tracks and share with care.

An area in the bottom left of the reserve has been cleared as a camping site which is equipped with a tap, toilets and picnic tables.


Providing 103km of cycling and walking trails along New Zealand’s longest river, the Mighty Waikato, the trail provides some of New Zealand’s most stunning views and spectacular scenery.

Cycle or walk just part of one section or go the distance from Atiamuri to the southern end of Lake Karapiro, taking in five hydro lakes, five hydro dams and a number of small towns and villages.


The museum was established near Putaruru in 1972, to celebrate, record and preserve the history of the timber industry particularly in the South Waikato District.


Back Lichfield Road (Take Grey Street or Golf Street off Arapuni Road)


The Putāruru business association, Pride in Putāruru, facilitates functions and events on behalf of the Putāruru business community and residents. Events include the Putāruru Business Awards, Christmas Parade, Waterfest among other initiatives. Pride in Putāruru also produce the Putāruru Prattler newsletter distributed free to the Putāruru Ward. Pride in Putāruru is funded by Council through a targeted rate on both the business sector and Putāruru ratepayers. 


The Plaza Theatre, South Waikato’s premium performing arts centre.