The unique and peaceful Haiku Pathway which meanders either side of the Uretara Stream was Katikati’s Millennium Project, an enduring gift for generations and the largest collection of haiku ‘stones’ outside Japan.
River boulders are inscribed with haiku poems written by poets from around the world – by 2007 there were 30 of these. Also set into the pathway itself are winning poems from the earlier biennial Katikati Haiku Contests organised by Katikati Open-Air.
There are three access points to the pathway from the main road. One (for both vehicles and pedestrians) is immediately south of Mitre 10, another is down steps at the rear of the Katikati Library and Information Centre in the centre of town, while the third is just over the road bridge at the north end of the town. Kayakers can also paddle upstream and come ashore at the landing behind the library.
It is possible to do a loop walk from the carpark, crossing the haiku footbridge and walking upstream, then through the Highfields subdivision and returning along the river bank by way of the third access point (approximately 30 minutes). Visitors may also exit the pathway by the old oak tree, cross the main road at the pedestrian refuge, and walk along the river bank to The Landing reserve where there are three more haiku boulders. It is then possible to walk to the harbour via the Yeoman Walkway, or return to the Haiku Pathway along Katikati’s main street.
In 2008 3 haiku’s were added a the Landing as the walkway expanded. On June 6, 2010 the Haiku Committee celebrated their 10th Anniversary with the dedication of 11 more poems.
Guidebooks to the Haiku Pathway, which include a map,are available at the Katikati Information Centre, Katikati Craft Shop and Books A Plenty in Grey St, Tauranga.