Ornately carved Turangawaewae Marae is the Maori King's base. It is open to the public only once a year, during the annual regatta. Held on the nearest Saturday to the 17th of March, the regatta includes a parade of traditional war canoes on the Waikato River.
Ngaruawahia is located at the junction of two great rivers - Waikato and Waipa. These rivers were once important canoe routes for Maori and later for the European settlers. Taupiri Mountain, which watches over Ngaruawahia, is very sacred; on its slopes is the Waikato’s most significant Maori burial ground.
Ngaruawahia is also home to the Hakarimata Walkway, which features kauri trees, streams and waterfalls. It has become known as a fitness challenge because of the 'never-ending stairway' which reaches to the summit.
Those who enjoy exploring on two wheels can hire a bike and ride along Te Awa, The Great NZ River ride from Hamilton to Ngaruawahia via the impressive Perry Bridge.