For a short walk in the bush, going up to see the Wairere Falls is a pleasant experience.
You can be up to the base of the falls and back to town in 1.5hrs easily.
From the roundabout at the Eastern end of Broadway, take Tower Road. Follow that out passed the Tower Museum, and turn right into Springs Road. Turn left at the end of that, onto Old Te Aroha Road. Follow this along and take the 4th road on the right. That should be Goodwin Rd. At the end of that short road is a carpark and the entrance to the bush walk. Take care not to leave valuables in your vehicle as this carpark is, unfortunately, a target for thieves.
Don't forget to take a water bottle with you and a warm jacket, as the weather can turn quickly and it gets very cold in there sometimes. Enjoy the walk, the smell of the bush is really nice, especially after rain.
Visit the Firth Tower and Museum to take in a bit of the areas history. It is situated on Tower Road, on the way to the Opal Hot Springs. A lot of items of historic value from the area are gathered here, including a display about the construction of the railway tunnel under the Kaimai Range thru to the Bay of Plenty.
Open for viewing daily 10am - 4pm.
Coming into Matamata from the direction of Tauranga by road you pass the Kaimai Ranges and you can view the plains from this lookout.
Just a few kms out from Matamata is a wee village called Tirau and the Information Centre there is in the form of a huge tin dog.