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. Water is bottled here and sold throughout the country. Putuaruru also has a timber museum and a decorative waterpark, which is adorned with mosaics and native plants. Just out of town is one of the largest cheese factories in the world. Functional facts: Approx. population 3800, information centre, good range of shops and services.