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Karamatura Loop, Auckland

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Karamatura LoopBeginner

Submitted by Michele Mill

Info Info
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Trail Information







Urban fringe


Undulating, some big hills

Native bush


2:00 (Slow)
1:30 (Moderate)
1:00 (Fast)



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Fastest Known Times (FKTs)

You need to run the full loop (either direction OK) and tag the trig at the top!

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This is trail has recently re-opened within the Waitakere Ranges, and whilst it enables reasonable elevation, it has been manicured and doesn’t have the rustic feel that it was once renowned for. You can choose which way you wish to do this trail, but at beginning of the Karamatura Loop Walk, there is a pou whenua, and behind this sits the path which takes you up to the Kauri Cleaning Station.

The loop is very well groomed and when it forks, stick to the left and you will be rewarded by a seat to rest on once you have almost reached the top of the loop. You will get a peek through the foilage at the view. Continuing on up and on the right there is lookout looking over the canopy. Following the loop down you will reach the fork again, where you can either return to the car, alongside the stream) or if you choose to continue on, you will be rewarded by a short rock hop across the stream and with a slight diversion to the right, you will be able to marvel at the Karamatura Falls.

Back on the trail you will be met with stairs and more stairs, and just when you thought you had finished, you will be rewarded with more… 1,248 of them!! Take a moment to appreciate the work that must have gone into those stairs given the gradient! When you do finish climbing the majority of stairs there is a little area, where can sit and take a moment to reflect amongst the trees, from here the trail flattens slightly and whilst there are a few boardwalks to cross, it isn’t long before you come out at the Donald McLean carpark and if you head straight through to the others side, you will see the Kauri Cleaning Station.

From here it is a steady incline up to the two Mt Donald Mclean Lookouts, where you will be rewarded with breath taking views on a clear day.

After you have taken your selfies, return to the Donald McLean carpark where you will need to make a decision, either return down the trail, via the stairs, or choose Whatipu Road to Huia Road, where you can then run along the coast back to the carpark. Whatipu Road is partly gravel and then seal, do take care if you choose this option as the road is windy and there are some blind corners.

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Features of interest

At the start of the track you are met with a beautiful pou whenua, not only do they mark territorial boundaries, they also tell a stories, This pou whenua stands at the beginning of the Karamatura Loop walk, and tells the story of the traditional name of the area where it stands: Kaingamatura — dwelling place of the deaf. It shows a shark to recall the occasions when the tribe of (Kawerau a Maki) this area went shark fishing from here. At one time an illicit liaison of a girl and a man from another tribe was found out, and the pair fled, hiding behind the rushing waters of a waterfall nearby, resulting in temporary deafness.

Make Up of Run

Moderate Single Track: 50%

Gravel Road: 25%

Sealed Road: 25%

Route Data


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Overlapping Runs

The following trails overlap with this run to some degree. You may wish to combine them but please note that to qualify for FKTs on these runs you should record a separate Strava activity for each


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  • Access

    1320 Huia Road, Huia, Auckland

    Drive through Huia, heading towards Little Huia, take the entrance signposted signposted "Karamatura Waitakere Ranges Regional Park" and if you reach Huia Hall on the left, you have missed the entrance to the carpark … there are good bathroom facilities here. If the carpark is full, additional parking is available across the road at Huia Hall.

    33 km

    45 minutes



  • Staying Safe



    Short-sleeved thermal top, Windproof jacket, Gloves, Beanie/thermal headwear, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Cellphone, Map.

    Take your own

    After a heavy rainfall, you would need to be careful crossing the stream, as it will be slippery across the rocks

    The stairs are quite steep in places, so you would need to be careful on the downs

  • Post run indulgence

    Alfreds Huia Foodstore
    1194 Huia Road, Huia
    A great local cafe to stop and grab a cold drink, coffee or ICECREAM!

  • Sponsor this trail

    If you are interested in learning about sponsorship opportunities, please get in touch below:


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