Head for the hills with Peter on this three peak challenge, then sample some of the best flavours the Waikato has to offer

  • Take on three picturesque peaks in this three day escape
  • Mt Karioi in Raglan, the rocky outcrop on Sanctuary Mountain and Wairere Falls
  • Indulge in the finest Waikato wine, cheese and ice-cream...
  • Meet the makers behind the flavours with a back entry pass
  • Rest, rejuvenate and connect with the surroundings at our eco accommodation

Get a group together and choose your dates!

** Available for groups of 4 - 6. 

2 nights premium accommodation, 3 days. All meals, snacks, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, activities, tastings and transport while on the escape included.

Payment: 20% deposit required to secure your booking. Balance due 14 days before your escape.  Full T's and C's here (under short escapes).

From $1,340 pp

  • Fully inclusive price
  • Double or twin share room options available

kylie@natureandnosh.co.nz for enquiries.


From the west to the east - this active escape is for those who aren't afraid of a challenge! In three days, we will take on three diverse Waikato 'peaks'. Maungatautari, also known as Sanctuary mountain stands watch over the Karapiro river in the heart of the Waikato region. Step into a world forgotten as we climb the slopes of Maungatautari towards the rocky outcrop. Protected by a 47km long pest-proof fence, the bird life, flora and fauna is abundant and is the closest to pre-human native bush and eco-system we have here in New Zealand. Our second climb is Mt Karioi, just south of Raglan on the west coast. A steep track is rewarded by endless coastal and rural views. Our final climb is to the top of the tallest waterfall in the North Island. Wairere falls cascades over the edges of the eastern Kaimai ranges.


Wine - Teach the taste buds, educate the palate. Award-winning wine makers Vilagrad have five generations of winemakers and Nature & Nosh have arranged a private tour and tasting with their winemaker. Learn about the art of viticulture and winemaking from the grape to the bottle, explore the family winery and finish up with a sensory evaluation of a selection of quality wines and excellent ports. 

Cheese - We are spoiled for cheese in the Waikato with our rich dairy offerings. Another family owned affair, the Meyer Cheese story began in a tiny village in the South of the Netherlands. Fifty years later Meyer Cheese are one of New Zealand’s most awarded cheese makers, with their most sought after gouda cheese. Visit the Meyer dairy farm, factory and cheese cellar and see where the magic happens (not usually open to the public) and meet the family behind the cheese.

Ice-cream - Keeping with the award-winning flavours theme, our waterfall climb is rewarded by a visit to Kōwhai, for a talk and taste of their 'Cream of the land' gelato. With 100 years and four generations of Jersey cow farming, 'The home farm' is the most traced and monitored farm in the world for green house gas emissions. Ethical. Fascinating. Delicious!


Stay at Sanctuary Lodge Maungatautari, a premium guesthouse positioned at the base of the mountain. Soak up the ambience as you take in the full profile of the mountain above; gather around the fire pit with a glass of wine, soak and sooth tired muscles in one of the spas while gazing at the stars. Enjoy healthy and hearty home cooked meals using local sourced produce and lovely hosts Sandy and Paul's warm and energetic hospitality. Local wine for the table, beer and non-alcoholic drinks will be provided when you state your preferences on booking.

About Peter

From a young age, Peter could be found sneaking out of school to for a tramp or 'bush bash'. Born and raised in the beautiful Kauaeranga Valley, the outdoors was his playground. Dedicating a good chunk of his life to controlling our pest populations, often in remote areas, Peter knows his way around the bush and has a deep interest in conservation. Self-taught, he currently runs a beef farm in the Waikato. When not farming or on tour, you’ll find him fishing rod in hand, trying to spot that elusive brown trout, or enjoying his favourite tipple, a Glenmorangie whiskey.

What people have said about tours with Peter:
"Starting our day with highly experience guide Peter, we set off our journey to discover the highest of waterfalls, the bluest and clearest of waters, the yummiest of cheeses and the best thirst quenching wines the Waikato has to offer. Peter has an encyclopaedic knowledge of the landscape and a tale for every occasion. We finished the day with a new appreciation of the natural landscapes and culinary gems that seem to be in such abundance in this part of New Zealand." - Paul, Hong Kong

Your escape itinerary day by day

Day One

9km / 4-5 hours walking (moderate to hard grade)
Meet at Sanctuary Lodge Maungatautari to check in before we head to the Southern Enclosure of the mountain where we begin the first climb of the escape! Explore primeval forest where ferns, fungi, nikau and native seedlings carpet the undergrowth and huge trees tower over us. As we make our way up to the rocky outcrop on the Te Tonga tramping track, there is plenty of time for breaks to appreciate the unique surroundings and curious birds that greet us. A short, sharp climb to the rocky outcrop offers magnificent views across the Waikato basin on a clear day, where we can enjoy a hot drink and some tucker. Down the otherside of the outcrop, we intersect the Over The Mountain (OTM) track make a loop back to the start. The afternoon is rounded off in style with a wine tasting and tour at Vilagrad winery, before heading back to the lodge to relax in the spa and prepare for some of Sandy's wholesome and hearty cooking.

Day Two

7km / 4 - 5 hours hiking (hard grade)
Mt Karioi is a forest-clad extinct volcano, surrounded by lush Waikato farmland on one side and the Tasman Sea on the other. The track offers spectacular views, and on a fine day, you can see as far south as Mt Taranaki. There are two ways to approach the summit - we are climbing the Wairake track from the southern side, which starts with a gentle, steady climb over private farmland, before a steep ascent into the bushline and up the ridge to the summit for lunch with some epic views. On the way back to Sanctuary Lodge Maungatautari, we visit Meyer farm for some cheese tasting of their famous gouda and a chat with cheesemaker Miel as we marvel at their huge cheese cellar!

Day Three

5km / 3-4 hours hiking (moderate grade)
Relish in a leisurely morning and home made breakfast before climbing to the top of the tallest waterfall in the North Island. Plunging 153m from the Kaimai range above, a well maintained track winds across bridges with lovely views of cascades, before reaching our first view of the falls. From here the track gets serious as we climb to the top of the falls for a breath-taking view over the valley and Waikato plains. With the hard work done, it’s time to visit the land of gelato! Indulge in a behind the scenes tour and taste of the most delicious handmade gelato at Kowhai Creamery. Made from full cream jersey cow milk, fed on lush Waikato pastures, this award-winning scoop will leave you with a sweet taste in your mouth and fond memories of this amazing adventure! Head back to Sanctuary Lodge Maungatautari to exchange contacts and farewell new friends made.

Note: We will always endeavour to stick as closely to this itinerary as possible to deliver the best experience to you. If anything outside of our control should change as it does from time to time, we will substitute elements of this itinerary to reflect the same value and level of amazing!


Varies each day:
Day one: 3-4 hours tramping (moderate to hard grade)
Day two: 4-5 hours tramping (hard grade)
Day three: 3-4 hours tramping (moderate grade)
Carrying a small day backpack for your personal gear such as water, lunch and a rain jacket. *Tramping times above include stops for snacks and/or lunch - and depends on group speed.

Track conditions and fitness requirements
Track surfaces on this escape vary, but you will need good supportive tramping boots with good grip as surfaces can be a combination of dirt/clay/mud, rocks and tree roots, leaf litter and gravel. You will get the most out of this escape if you have a good level of fitness and have some tramping experience. However, you do not have to be an experienced tramper as Peter will ensure that the pace is dictated by the group and allow plenty of time for short breaks for water, refreshments and photos. For us, it's about the journey, not the destination. 

The ins and outs

Meet at Sanctuary Lodge Maungatautari at 9am on day one. Transfers available to and from Hamilton on request. During this escape, you will be transported around in our super comfortable and spacious, Nature and Nosh Ford Transit custom van.

Rooms configurations
All rooms are large and spacious with ensuites and comfortable queen beds. They can be configured double or twin share.

Meals included on this escape:
Day 1: Lunch, dinner, snacks
Day 2: Breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks
Day 3: Breakfast, lunch, snacks
Cooked and continental breakfast options, gourmet picnic or nutritious packed lunches, three-course evening meals. Local wine for the table, plus two glasses of beer, spirits or non-alcoholic drink per person will be provided per night as part of this escape. There is a licensed bar at the lodge for your own purchasing beyond this. Please advise your drink preferences when booking.

Special dietary requirements
If you have special dietary requirements, as long as we know about them in advance we should be able to cater for you. We hope to accommodate all special dietary requirements, however, if this is not possible we will inform you as soon as we can.

We are Qualmark Gold endorsed operators. Qualmark independently evaluates tourism operators in New Zealand annually to ensure quality across all business areas. A Gold Award is evidence of one of the most high quality, safe and sustainable experiences in New Zealand, with the delivery of exceptional customer experiences an integral part of everything we do.

We do walk in the rain! As long as our guides have deemed conditions safe for walking. We can usually change our day around a little to make the best of the weather, but you need to come prepared for the elements! See our recommended packing list.

Pricing for fully inclusive escape:

Twin/double share: $1,340 pp
Own room: $1,390 pp

Pre or post escape accommodation
If you would like an additional night's accommodation before or after this escape at Sanctuary Lodge Maungatautari, this can be arranged.

Cancellation policy

Please note that we have committed costs to accommodation and other suppliers who rely on us for payment pre-tour.

Full terms and conditions (not including cancellation policy) can be found here.

COVID policy: Should travel restrictions be put into place that inhibit your ability to join an escape, tour or one day experience, any funds not already paid out to or tagged to our suppliers, contractors (less $100 processing fee for Nature & Nosh) at the time we are notified of your inability to travel, will be held as a credit with Nature & Nosh for 12 months and is fully transferrable to another person at no charge. The transferrable amount will vary depending on the notice and committed funds.
*Escape requires a minimum of 4 people to have a guaranteed departure.



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