Last Updated: 22nd Apr 2024


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Hot Springs Loop

Tuahau Track, North South Track

Katikati, Bay of Plenty

Submitted by Rob Bathgate

Last Updated: 22nd Apr 2024


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Grunt Factor: 28 ?

Gnarl Factor: 68 ?








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Trail Map

Type of Run

Front country - easily accessible


Undulating, some big hills

Native bush

Run Makeup


Easy Single Track

Moderate Single Track

Technical Single Track

Average Uphill Gradient: +12.6%

Average Downhill Gradient: -13.9%


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Estimated Times to Run







Loop can be done in either direction; going clockwise you start with a steady climb up old tram tracks to the saddle (1/3). Then proceeding north along the North South track it gets technical and undulating until you reach Te Rereatukahia Hut (2/3). Then start heading down through some steep pinches, beautiful Kauri forest and a river crossing just before final climb back up to the car park.

Te Rereatukahia Hut is 20m off the loop (but easy to find); so once visiting the hut you backtrack 20m to take the track out and down.

Detour off the initial climb to a check out a giant Kauri, and Sentinel Rock.

Parking at track start.

9 km

11 minutes




When you reach the saddle / summit, you hit a track cross roads. Turn right (North).

Near the hut there is another junction to the old North South Track, which is DoC signposted with a warning not to use. This track is very overgrown (non existant) and should not be taken without preplanning, GPS and good backcountry skills.

Very patchy.

Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Cellphone, Map

A few small trickles on the tram track up but do not drink from these; Giardia and Yersinia has been contracted from here. There's larger river at the finish, but can be dirty and is too close to the end to be useful.

There is a water tank at the hut, but is recommended to treat this (boil or tablets), so make it easy and take your own water.

The river near the finish (if going clockwise) can be too high to cross after heavy rain; so if you're planning on the route after heavy rain, consider doing it in reverse so you are sure you can cross the river.

Along the top it's pretty much always muddy and wet and is exposed in places along the top (gets very cold in a southerly).

The river at the end after very heavy rain.

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Trail Reviews

Highly recommended to add on 20 minutes return for fabulous 360 views from a small peak just up from Te Rereatukahia hut. At the trail junction a few minutes above the hut (not the one immediately above the hut), take the Old North South Track. It's signed as difficult and for experienced trampers only, but is straightforward and well marked as far as the viewpoint at least. Go up as far as you can before the contour would go down the Waikato side for 360 views among Dr Seuss scrub (mountain neinei or dracophyllum). The best eastern views are on the way back down at a standing rock.

Therese Egan

January 24, 2022

Great run with cool views once you get up onto North South Track. More "open air" running that I thought was going to be the case so sunnies and sun protection is a good idea. Thanks for sharing Rob.

Anthony Sowerby

February 9, 2020

This is an absolute great trail if you're after an uphill that you can run up. The gradient is pretty gentle for the first 4-5kms. Once you get to the Intersection with the North-South track it gets more technical but the views are worth it!

Jayne Tankersley

January 5, 2020

I run the track today up to Te Rereatukahia Hut and back to Hot Springs road. All in al 17k of fun. The connector from WHARAWHARA LINK TK has been decomissioned and closed for good, so the trail has to be done as a "there and back" or you'll need to choose a different finish point.The first 6k up to the first junction is a very easy trail with few technical bits. In fact the first 3k could be done with a pram, as it has been made into stabilised gravel track.It only becomes more rugged once you come to the ridge section. You should have no problem finding your way, as all directions are clearly marked.Unfortunately, no views for me today, as it was blowing a gale with low cloud cover. It was very welcome to get all the way to the hut to take a little rest, re-fuel and head back.And what was a runnable track on the way up, now becomes a real "playground" on the way down. Let your legs run and enjoy! You'll be down in no time.

Petr Faitl

September 3, 2019

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