Last Updated: 6th Jan 2024

Beginner - Intermediate

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I've done it Done

Te Waiti Track

Opotiki, Bay of Plenty

Submitted by jim robinson

Last Updated: 6th Jan 2024

Beginner - Intermediate

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I've done it Done


Grunt Factor: 23 ?

Gnarl Factor: 24 ?








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Trail Map

Type of Run

Back country - remote

Out and Back

Undulating, small hills only

Native bush

Run Makeup


Easy Single Track

Moderate Single Track

Average Uphill Gradient: +8.5%

Average Downhill Gradient: -8.5%


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Estimated Times to Run







Te Waiti is the next valley system over from the Pakihi. Whereas the Pakihi Track has been brought up to Great Ride cycling standard, Te Waiti is still less polished. Much of it is a good wide track, but there are sections that are pretty narrow, or you drop down to cross small, rocky creeks. Awesome running!
Te Waiti track is all in bush. You're following the river valley, above the true left bank. Sometimes you rise about 50 vertical metres above the stream, there's nothing too strenuous but it is not flat. The drop to the river is steep.
After the DOC hut, you can carry on up the valley, but the route becomes increasingly broken. There is also a high tramping route across to the Pakihi hut, but you must have good navigation skills for this.
Te Waiti track to the hut and back is about 14km. A good option to extend the distance is to start from Boulders campsite. Or, if the water level is low, you can run up the track and back down the river. It's great riverbed training. 

Te Waiti track is best known for the magnificent nikau palms. They're not quite as big as on Whakaumu Track, but they're more prolific here.
A century ago, this was part of the same farm as the lower Pakihi track. The farmed land went far up the Te Waiti valley.
After about 6km you must cross the Te Waiti stream. There is no bridge. Often the water is shin deep but this crossing is not possible in high water: treat it with real respect.
There is a basic DOC hut soon after the crossing.
If you know where to look, just off the track at halfway there is a 500 year old kahikatea (white pine). Stay at Bushaven and get the location from John. It's very impressive.

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.

Groups staying at Bushaven may be able to arrange shuttle Transport with Motu Trails Hire & Shuttle (also run by John of Bushaven). There is no public transport.

19 km

25 minutes




The track is easy to follow. The only place to really be alert is the river crossing, marked by orange triangles. If you go up past the hut, things are not so clear.


Lightweight fleece top, Windproof jacket, Gloves, Beanie/thermal headwear, Personal Locator Beacon (PLB), Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Survival bag, Cellphone, Map

Best not to drink from the main stream. Drink from the plentiful side creeks, many of which are waterfalls.

The track never really gets busy. In winter you may well see no one else. Treat it with respect, as while it's not particularly difficult, it is genuine backcountry. It gets cold in winter, mostly losing sun early in the day.

In heavy rain, you should not attempt to cross the stream, and Te Waiti road will likely be impassable.

Bushaven/Motu Trails Hire & Shuttle
track start - under service providers
Accommodation in, yep, a bush haven. It's wonderful. Hear weka and, sometimes, wild kiwi. Swim. Chill out. Meals can be arranged, or self cater. Bushaven/Motu Trails Hire & Shuttle are official partners to the Motu Trails. That support helps in the governance of the trails, so by staying there, you are helping keep local trails active.

Weka Wilds
Entrance to Pakihi Track, 10km from Te Waiti - under service providers
Weka Wilds is at the end of the Pakihi Track, so about 10km from Te Waiti and Bushaven. There's awesome accommodation here too, notably in the historic A-frame hut of famed bushman-author Barry Crump. As well as offering neat accommodation, Christian and Kelly cook a masterful pizza in a wood-fired oven. If you're in the area, you haven't lived until you've tasted this! Weka Wilds are, naturally, official partners to Motu Trails.

Opotiki i-SITE
70 Bridge St, Opotiki, ph 07 315 3031 - under service providers
The folks at Opotiki i-SITE can give you info and ideas, a Motu Trails map marking Te Waiti, and make accommodation and other bookings. They're official partners too.

Trail Legend

christine weeks

christine weeks

has completed Te Waiti Track once in the last year.

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Fastest Known Times (FKTs)

Tag the hut just over 6k in & return to the start by the same route to claim a valid FKT

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Trail Reviews

A little hard to get to, but worth it. Small car would struggle, ideally ute or SUV. I found parking spot (on the left) on road bend about 500m before Bushaven camp. This was last turn around spot on the road. Having been a MTB track mostly lovely wide benched trail, with only odd little mud spot. Has not been maintained for some time ( iwent back next day & did some) so odd section were side of track has slipped away making it a bit narrow in places, and odd tree fall to climb over. The one stream/river crossing is about half km before hunt. Lovely bush, bird life and views of river.

Glen Brownlee

August 20, 2021

Really enjoyable track, 90% wide undulating single track (as was a MTB track) been unmaintained for a while, so a few sections were a bit narrow with washouts. Stunning bush, and with the river close at hand in summer a few options for a cool-off dip. I parked on a small parking bay area (on a bend) about 500m before Bushaven camp, as past this point there is nowhere to turn around.

Glen Brownlee

August 13, 2021

I ran from the road bridge to the hut and back; 20km or so. A well graded track in lovely bush, but very overgrown in parts. Not much to see, but would be a 3.5 star run with a good trim

Daniel Parkinson

December 24, 2020

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