• Historically significant sites
  • Steepest rail track in New Zealand


  • by car:

    20 mins from New Plymouth

  • by car:

    3 hours from Hamilton

Bridge swinging is a Waitara specialty, or you could hire some kayaks and take a trip down Waitara River.

Waitara is the largest town in North Taranaki. It was one of the first areas in the region to be settled by Māori; consequently, it has some important and significant heritage sites.

On the first and third Sunday of each month, the Waitara Railway Preservation Society operates a return train ride to Lepperton. At one point the track has a 1 in 40 gradient - the steepest in New Zealand. An extension to the track was added in 2020 to connect to the old Lepperton Yard.

The Waitara River, which flows through the town, is popular for fishing, boating, kayaking, and white-water rafting. Bridge swinging is another fun river activity.

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