Waipā has a rich and compelling heritage comprising many ecological, built, and cultural features. These include Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari, numerous peat lakes, historic buildings such as the Cambridge Town Hall, and numerous pā sites and battle sites.

Maintaining and enhancing Waipā's unique cultural, historic and environmental heritage is important to us. Our museum in Te Awamutu has a strong heritage focus and you can also follow one of our heritage trails in the district.

In line with our goal of being environmental and cultural champions, we have dedicated funding for enhancing the district's heritage. Our heritage fund is available to assist the community to undertaken heritage enhancement projects.

Waipā Discovery Tours


As part of Council's public consultation on the draft 10-Year Plan 2018-28, we put on free bus tours exploring the district's history.

More than 320 people came along on the tours, learning from commentary provided by Tony Roxburgh, Manager - Waipā Heritage & Museum; Chuck Davis, Iwi Liason; mana whenua Harry Wilson; and Grant Middlemiss from the Cambridge Historical Society.

Visit www.discoverwaipa.co.nz  to explore more of our significant historical


Waipā Discovery Tour - East

Starting in Cambridge, our tour of the eastern side of the district included stops at Lake Te Koo Utu, Roto-o-rangi, Sanatorium Hill and Lake Karāpiro.

Waipā Discovery Tour - West

Starting in Te Awamutu, our tour of the western side of the district included stops at key land war sites including Rangiaowhia, Ōrākau and Alexandra Armed Constabulary Redoubt.

Local history


To know where we're going, we've got to know where we've come from... Learn about the rich history of the Waipā district, including the first international rowing regatta held at Lake Karāpiro in 1952, Rewi Maniapoto's battles for the Kīngitanga movement in the 1860s, and the restoration of our peat lake wetlands' unique ecosystem.

Read more: Waipā history

Waipā Heritage Trail

You can explore the Waipā district’s engaging history by following the  Waipā Heritage Trail brochure, visit sites of Māori and European settlements, battle sites, trading posts, and places that have played a significant part in the development of our district.

Kihikihi Heritage Trail

Located just south of Te Awamutu, Kihikihi village has its origins in a village of the Ngāti Maniapoto and subsequent European military settlement. You can explore this by following the  Kihik ihi Heritage Trail brochure.

Page reviewed: 25 May 2018 3:59pm