The Waikato War

For ten months during 1863 to 1864, the once peaceful hills and plains of Waikato rang with battle cries and the boom of warships. At stake was some of the North Island’s most fertile farmland, around the Waikato and Waipa rivers. When the smoke cleared, the British had seized more than one million acres of tribal territory, and the door was open to Pakeha control of the North Island.  Use the downloadable files and map to explore the 1863-64 battle sites for yourself.

Tohu Maumahara
Tohu Maumahara (symbol of remembrance) at Rangiriri. Image: Heritage New Zealandexpand/collapse

Waikato War Driving Tour

Today, you can still find haunting remnants of the war in the hills, gullies, lakes, rivers and streams of the Waikato.  

The Waikato War Driving Tour app will take you on a unique journey to visit 13 sites of significance to the Waikato campaign.  The mobile app provides GPS linked maps, an audio guide for each location, as well as a high-quality, education resource.  

At four key locations, imagery of what the historic sites would have looked like in the 1860s, enables visitors to visualise aspects of the combat.  

A carved Tohu Maumahara (symbol of remembrance) stands at Rangiriri to commemorate those who fought and fell during the battle.

The places you'll visit:

  1. Highwic
  2. Pokekohe East Church
  3. Pokeno
  4. Mercer
  5. Whangamarino
  6. Rangiriri
  7. Te Wheoro’s Redoubt
  8. Ngaruawahia
  9. Paterangi
  10. Rangiaowhia
  11. Kihikihi
  12. Orakau
  13. Pirongia/Alexandra Redoubt


Visit for downloadable driving tour apps, audio files, stories, site descriptions and education resources that will assist your exploration of the Waikato War.

Download your FREE tours (on smartphone or tablet)

Android app on Google Play Go directly to Google Play to download the smartphone version of the tour.  Search for Heritage Trails first, you will find Waikato War .

 Go to the Apple Store - search for Heritage Trails first, you will find Waikato War under this banner

Note that the downloadable resources are approximately 50mb, so ensure you have a broadband connection first.  You are unlikely to be able to download the app tour onto a PC - you're best advised to use a mobile device.


Download the education resource (pdf 11mb), and explore the Waikato War.  Your challenge is to facilitate a journey that allows your students to explore, acknowledge and reflect on their experiences, and to draw from them the meaning and significance of the Waikato War and how it will be remembered by future generations.