Last Updated: 13th May 2024


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Waharau Ridge Gutbuster

Clevedon, Auckland

Submitted by Nikki Newham

Last Updated: 13th May 2024


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Grunt Factor: 17 ?

Gnarl Factor: 15 ?








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Trail Map

Type of Run

Front country - easily accessible


Undulating, some big hills

Native bush

Run Makeup


Farm Road / 4WD Track

Easy Single Track

Average Uphill Gradient: +11.2%

Average Downhill Gradient: -11.1%


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Estimated Times to Run







From the sealed carpark at the Information Building head left around the back of the building and look for the purple track marker. Follow the purple track through the Puriri Grove and around the edge of the park toward the camping area.

Head toward the top of the picnic area where there are toilets and water. Stop at the footwash station and give your shoes a good scrub and disinfect. Once through the footwash station head up the 4 wheel drive track following the red marker poles. There are a couple of other tracks still closed (upper and lower link tracks) so be aware for barriers and signage.

Follow the track onwards and upwards. There's a small ford to cross around 3km in, hop the stepping stones or embrace the cooling from wet shoes, it's pretty benign in good weather, caution is required if it's been very wet.

Keeping going up, it's steep in places but the views are worth it. Somewhere about the 6km mark, you are near the ridge, there's a great viewpoint up here, definitely worth a stop.

Carrying on the ridge track which undulates for a few km, you'll come to what was a track junction - there is now only one option, to head down. Enjoy the downhill, the steps and a couple of viewing spots along the way.

Towards the bottom of the hill you'll come across a closed gate, follow the track round to the left even though you can see a track marker past the locked gate. The track has been rerouted due to Kauri Dieback upgrade work.

Head downhill, stay on the track that will turn into green track markers, hang a right just after the wooden footbridge back towards the carpark. The trail here is very pretty running through the established bush.

Once you exit through the footwash station, turn left and head uphill. The carpark is only about 200m away!

If you know of any public toilets near the trail start or on the route, please login and then let us know so we can update this section.

Plenty of parking in the park, either at the first carpark next to the Information building or further into the park. Waharau Regional Park is about 1 hour from the Howick area of Auckland if you take the coast road. From Clevedon head towards Kawakawa Bay, then on past the Orere Point turnoff. Waharau is around 10mins driving time past the Tapapakanga Regional Park turnoff. From other Auckland regions it may be quicker to take the Southern Motorway, then SH2, then Mangatangi and Kaiaua.

37 km

39 minutes




All other tracks that used to connect to the Waharau Ridge Track are now closed. There are barriers and signage so it should be obvious where not to go.


Short-sleeved thermal top, Windproof jacket, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Cellphone, Map

There is a water tap near the toilets at the top end of the picnic area, just before you head uphill on the red poled track.

Can be windy and cold at the ridge at any time of year. Track upgrade work has removed any muddy parts.

Trail Legend


Shane Holmes

has completed Waharau Ridge Gutbuster 3 times in the last year.

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Trail Reviews

As per the description, this is not a technical track. However it is a chance to get in some good climbing on a beautiful track. Well worth the drive to complete. Clockwise is definitely best.

Matt Rowbotham

May 15, 2022

Track markers easy to follow and good description given. A pleasant enough circuit with good power hiking potential on the way up and the opportunity to get those road runner legs flying on the way down. I would do it in the clockwise direction suggested. A few different spots to stop and check out the view.

Angela Hewlett

March 27, 2022

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