Trail Blazer – Get Your Sizzle on this Summer

Trail Blazer – Get Your Sizzle on this Summer

Remember those good ole Kiwi summer days? When time slowed, kids jumped off pontoons, and evening strolls were the norm – they still exist, and are within easy reach. The small township of Mangakino is home to such summertime days of old and host to one of the regions hottest lakefront events – The Waikato River Trails Summer Sizzler.

And, with Christmas and New Year well and truly done and dusted, this family-friendly event – held 11th January – provides the perfect opportunity to get out and about and explore an area of the Waikato that remains a well-kept secret.

“The event finishes at Mangakino’s lakefront reserve which is both picturesque and ideal for families – albeit it is one of the least known holiday spots. We have the famous Bus Stop café, pontoon, golf course alongside and plenty of boat and people watching to be had,” explains Glyn Wooller of Waikato River Trails.

“The river trail spans 105 kilometres – stretching from Arapuni, Mangakino, Whakamaru and the recently completed stretch to Atiamuri – and its infrastructure brings such a wealth of opportunities with it. Great for out-of-town exploration and fantastic for the growth of our local communities.”

A place to just be

A long-time go-to for wakeboard aficionados and trout enthusiasts, Mangakino’s Lake Maraetai, proved the perfect backdrop for 2019’s Summer Sizzler which welcomed participants from Hamilton, Tauranga, Auckland and locals alike.

“This year’s event really showcased the true beauty and magic of the area – and its local community – plus the weather was incredible. Mangakino is really just a place to be and go at your own pace and travelling time is at a minimum – it’s a stone’s throw from Taupō and just over an hour from Tauranga.”

With first year success well and truly earnt, 2020’s Summer Sizzler is set to be equally as smashing.

“We want to introduce people to this amazing part of the map – get them exploring the river trail – and what better way to spark interest than with a fun-filled, affordable day,” says Glyn. “For us it’s not about making huge amounts of profit – we keep entrance fees to a minimum – it’s about giving back to our communities and supporting them.”

And one such group of avid supporters are local sports groups who’ll be marshalling the event.

“We have such a great crew of people bringing the event to life – and profits go back into supporting these local groups – which makes it all the more rewarding as organisers,” enthuses Glyn. “And because we’ve kept it affordable but maintained a high level of service and reward –all competitor photography is free; all competitors receive bibs (some personalised if they enter early) and everyone receives a medal too – it truly makes it a special event to be a part of.”


To enter and learn more about January 2020’s Waikato River Trails Summer Sizzler event, visit

Get a special 10% discount off your entry fee when you enter the henry magazine reader code: WRTSS20HENRY

All entries received before 4pm on the 11th of December 2019 receive a personalised race bib, too. Ready, set, go!

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