From the carpark a short track heads down to a delightful bridge across the Hautapu River. From here a short walk takes you to a large clearing suitable for picnicking. A small stretch of boardwalk crosses an area that can be wet and swampy during winter.
Paengaroa Scenic Reserve is situated near the village of Mataroa. Turn west off State Highway 1 three kilometres north of Taihape. Just before reaching Mataroa School turn right and cross the railway bridge and straight ahead lies the carpark.