Submitted by Mike Tennent
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Front country - easily accessible
Out and Back
Undulating, small hills only
Native bushRiversideOpen tussock/grasslands
NOT to be attempted after medium to heavy rain.
Fastest Known Times (FKTs)
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This trail has a bit of everything... but your feet will get wet, so when you descend from the carpark, head straight over the river - you will see the trail about 50 meters away - and follow the trail.
You will cross this river over 50 times EACH WAY! So keeping feet dry is not gonna happen. At times the trail is obvious, other times invisible, but you are heading up the river, so bear that in mind. Always watch out for the orange triangles that pop up infrequently and often show you the way to wonderful short stretches of bush trail. Eventually at around 10km you will reach the hut, check it out, maybe have a break, then retrace your steps as best you can to the start.
Features of interest
Great river views, lots of birds. Thousands of Painted Lady butterflies and Cinnibar moths with pink undersides to their wings.
Make Up of Run
Untracked / Route only: 25%
Technical Single Track: 30%
Moderate Single Track: 15%
Easy Single Track: 30%
Farm Road / 4WD Track: 0%
Gravel Road: 0%
Sealed Road: 0%
From the Rotorua/Taupo end drive past Murupara and take the left hand turn about 2km past the town onto Whirinaki Road, from this corner it is about 12.5 km to the gravel track to the start. After a few kms on Whirinaki Road there is an intersection with Whirinaki Road going left... ignore this turn and go straight, taking you on to Troutbeck Road. From here it is about 8.5km to the turnoff (right) just before the one-lane bridge over the Horomanga River. Once on this gravel track, follow it to the end ignoring all the side tracks. Watch out for the nasty judder bar.
Good sized parking area
Just keep a heads-up for the orange triangles or you will miss some magic trail.
Long-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Gloves, Beanie/thermal headwear, Personal Locator Beacon (PLB), Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Survival bag, Cellphone, Map.
Lots and lots
No way should this route be attempted if the river is high or if medium or heavy rain is expected.
The river crossings can be slippery and treacherous, take your time - especially late in the run/walk when you are getting weary. Some of the larger rocks are very slippery so make sure one foot is solidly planted before lifting the other.
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