Not only a spectacular vantage point, this awesome mountain is also home to several species of rare flora and fauna.
Enjoy sweeping views across mountain ranges and the Tukituki River from Te Mata Peak.
The peak itself as well as the park in which is it situated are much-loved by hikers. Walk through forests of giant redwoods and spot great birds of prey patrolling the skies.
Trails in the park lead up to the summit of Te Mata Peak, which stands at almost 400 metres (1,300 feet) above sea level. As you ascend the rugged path, pause for breath and look along the vast faces of limestone cliffs. Spot hungry sheep grazing perilously close to the rocky edges and be on alert for New Zealand falcons and kakas soaring overhead.
Trekkers who reach the peak are rewarded with staggering views. To the west is the Ruahine Range while the peaks of the Kaweka Range lie further north. Come on a clear day for the chance to see Mount Ruapehu, an active volcano in Tongariro National Park, and to marvel at the beautiful shape of Cape Kidnappers protruding out into the ocean.
Bring a bike and cycle down the hill via one of the park’s biking trails. For a more relaxing alternative, simply drive to and from the top along the mountain road.
Back on ground level, explore the leafy areas around the mountain’s lower slopes, looking out for bird species such as the bright kereru and tui. Among the highlights are Webb’s Bush, which is full of pretty karaka trees and the Californian redwood grove.
Te Mata Peak is a 20-minute drive southeast of Hastings. The peak and surrounding park are open all year. Check the forecast before setting off on your hike as the path can become dangerous in extreme weather.