Last Updated: 20th Jan 2024

Beginner - Intermediate

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Riverhead Blast

Last Updated: 20th Jan 2024

Beginner - Intermediate

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I've done it Done


Grunt Factor: 17 ?

Gnarl Factor: 14 ?








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Trail Map

Type of Run

Front country - easily accessible


Undulating, some big hills

Native bush

Plantation/exotic forest

Run Makeup


Sealed Road

Gravel Road

Easy Single Track

Moderate Single Track

Average Uphill Gradient: +6.1%

Average Downhill Gradient: -6.0%


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Estimated Times to Run







A fun, close-to-half-marathon course first mapped for Riverhead Rampage training purposes. This course features some good climbs and nearly 500m of vertical ascents, so it's good for beginner - intermediate runners.

Most of this run is on forestry roads (including a lot on the aptly named Foresty Road). Use the map, and GPS is a good idea. Be aware, Forestry Road discontinues and then rejoins several roads at several junctions. Again check the map before heading out.

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.

No public transport option that I could find. Plenty of on-street parking outside Riverhead School.

7 km

8 minutes




The most challenging part for navigation is the loop through the bush after leaving Carters Rd. If you do get lost, Ararimu Valley Rd is approx. 1.5 km north of where you leave the main track, and Carters Rd loops around approx. 300m west. The rest of the course essentially follows established forestry roads.

Generally good.

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

None that I'm aware of, though there will likely be taps at Riverhead School (start/finish of course).

Can be very dry during summer months, and very slippery after heavy rain as the roads have clay beds. Due to the pine trees, it's not difficult to get under shelter, but be mindful if running during or after high winds

Riverhead is an active forest, so there may occasionally be vehicles on the roads.

Hallertau Brewery
1171 Coatesville-iverhead Highway
Some of the best beer in NZ, as well as exceptional food and coffee, and a kids play area. Can be a mission to get a group table, but well worth a try!

Trail Legend


Karen McDonnell

has completed Riverhead Blast once in the last year.

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Trail Reviews

An adventure to be had for wild things wanting to test their navigation skills. Try to follow the GPS track for a challenge and allow extra time for figuring out trail entrances most of which are not obvious. Orienteering skills a bonus and GPS track needed for bush sections.

I didn't encounter any clear fell sections where scrambling was required near the start or finish. For the sections with straight GPS lines through the bush I found meandering bike trails that took me somewhat in the right direction to get to the right place. The mid section lollipop was most challenging and I did some bush bashing in this section. No running in the bush possible off the bike tracks but some what easy travel given it's a pine forest.

Angela Hewlett

May 23, 2022

Nice run when you're off the gravel roads. As mentioned by Matt the start is through what now is clear fell so a bit of scrambling is required. I downloaded GPX and spent most of my time running around after my watch. Would be a hard run to replicate without that. Note that GPX points at end of run dont marry up to trails now (or at least didn't for me) so you may need to navigate last stretch on your own. Thanks for sharing.

Anthony Sowerby

January 17, 2020

Great trail with lots of variation. A bit sticky and slippy in places after a month of rain in Auckland, but still lots of fun. The forest between the ridge line, near the start, and Long Bush Rd has been felled. I had to clamber through the milling debris for approx. 200m, but it wasn't difficult.

Matt Rowbotham

August 26, 2019

My favourite place to run, it has everything, hills, fun down hills, gravel, trails.....fantastic place to run

Tracy Southern

July 31, 2019

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Overlapping Trails

These overlap with this trail 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 activity for each.

Fun at Riverhead

Fun at Riverhead

Length: 8.9km

Level: Beginner - Intermediate