Wild Things - New Zealand's trail running community
New Zealand's trail running community


don't have an account?

Fat Man's Run, Bay of Plenty

Trail Directory proudly supported by Further Faster

Update Your Header Picture

Fat Man's RunBeginner - Intermediate

Submitted by Mike Tennent

Info Info
Map Loading

Trail Information





Bay of Plenty


Front country - easily accessible


Undulating, some big hills

Native bush

Beginner - Intermediate

3:30 (Slow)
2:30 (Moderate)
1:50 (Fast)



Download PDF Guide
View trail on Capra App

Fastest Known Times (FKTs)

Please set your gender to see your position on the FKT leaderboards.


Show more


Show more

Filter FKTs

The more , the harder the FKT will be to beat. Learn about Fastest Known Times.

Missing your time?

Register or login as a VIP and get yourself on the FKT leaderboard!

Register Now


Starting at the Blue Lake by the Ski Club with the lake in front of you, head to your right looking for the trail entry about 20 metres from the lake. Follow this trail for about 100m looking for a not obvious trail off to the right. When you find it turn up and follow it until you reach the MTB trail. At the MTB track turn right and follow the track until you come to a sign on your left saying Feeder Trail. Take that trail and follow it for the next 700m or so ignoring all side trails.

Eventually it will spit you out of the lovely native bush onto 4WD track along parallel to the road. Follow this for the next 1.5km or so until there is a major split in the road. Take the left hand road, the road quickly splits again, this time stay straight and ignore the road off to the left. Follow this road through a few ups and downs watching for a trail call Sidewinder on your left. This is a shared trail but only one directional so this is where the climbing starts.Head all the way up Sidewinder to the top ignoring the couple of side trails on the way. Once you come out on the road turn left and follow the forestry road for about 500m to the junction of the road, at the junction you will see a large map board and to the left of that the very appropriately name Frontal Lobotomy.

This too is a shared uphill only trail and much more runnable than the previous one. Follow this to the very top where you will come to another map board, to the right of the map the road carries on up the hill and so do you. Keep going to the very top to the entrance of Tuhoto Ariki... a magic bit of trail. Head on in, early on there is a trail split, follow Tuhoto Ariki and head left. Then enjoy some lovely technical running for the next 4 to 5km. There is one clearing you come into, just a round patch of green grass in the middle of the bush and the trail is not obvious, it is back left and marked with a DOC orange triangle. Other than that here are only a couple of trails off and they are clearly labelled as MTB only.

Once out of Tuhoto you will hit forestry road again, head left up the hill to the top, past one side road. At the top is yet another map board (you wont get lost)... head left here and follow the 4WD/Forestry road... after a couple of hundred metres you will come to a clearing with what looks like a trail on the right. Take the time to head over there and run the 20 or so metres to a magic view. Then back to the road and head right for nearly a kilometre... watching all the time for a post on your right (no sign) that marks a trail start.

Once on this trail follow some lovely technical downhill single trail until you reach another 4WD road, turn left again and once again run a few hundred metres looking again for a post that use to have a sign on it. The trail is reasonably clear, follow that as it heads through and then at the clearing veer to the right onto the main trail again. Follow this until you reach a more well formed forestry road (Tikitapu Road). Turn left here up the hill and follow this road until you reach a 4 way intersection (keep an eye out for some cool through the trees views of Green Lake). Once at the intersection turn lef onto the main Blue Lake Trail and follow it back to the start - about 2.4km. Alternatively you can follow the trail the other way for about 3.2km to the same place.

Trail Community

Find people who are interested in this run.

You must register or login to view this content.

Features of interest

Two Lakes (Blue and Green) This run has been a regular of the authors for many years and was used as the basis for an event he ran for Hospice in 2013 called the Fat Man's Run... hence the name! (the Author is the Fat Man)

Make Up of Run

Untracked / Route only: 0%

Technical Single Track: 25%

Moderate Single Track: 20%

Easy Single Track: 10%

Farm Road / 4WD Track: 20%

Gravel Road: 25%

Sealed Road: 0%

Route Data


You must register or login to view this content.

Overlapping Runs

The following trails overlap with this run 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 Strava activity for each


You must register or login to view this content.

Your Trail Wishlist

All the runs that are on your To Do list (no limit).

Add to wishlist view wishlist

Your Trail Dreamlist

The runs you most want to do (limited to 10).

Add to dreamlist view dreamlist

Wild Explorers

I did it!
  • Access

    Any of the Blue Lake (Lake Tikitapu) carparks. Head from Rotorua on Tarawera Road and keep going until you reach Blue Lake.

    Generally a few vehicles around and as long as you are in the main carparks you should be ok.

    11 km

    13 minutes



  • Staying Safe


    Make navigation of this route super-easy by using the Capra app on your phone. View on Capra .

    I suggest that you print out this guide and take it with you. You will pass 3 Map Boards so at each time you can check where you are. And if you are navigationally challenged you can track down the author and maybe he will come show you!


    Waterproof leggings, Long-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Gloves, Beanie/thermal headwear, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Survival blanket, Cellphone, Map.

    Only water at the very start and the end.

    Tuhoto gets a bit muddy after lots of rain, but really that just makes it more fun, not likely to be closed at all.

    While you are never far from civilization, there are lots of trails in the Rotorua Forests, so take time to make sure you go the right way. Also lots of tree roots in the technical sections.

  • Post run indulgence

    10 Tarawera Road, right next to the Outdoorsman - you had to drive past it on the way out.
    Great food, great coffee and he is a trail runner as well!!!

  • Sponsor this trail

    If you are interested in learning about sponsorship opportunities, please get in touch below:


Got a favourite trail? Tell us about it.

Share the love and add your favourite trail(s) to our growing trail directory.

Submit A Trail

Become a member today

Start enjoying the many benefits to becoming a member of our thriving community.

Become a member

Great brands at great prices with our VIP member's discount

Stay up to date

Sign up to our newsletter for latest offers and trail guides

Share this trail with a friend:

VIP Membership

Please register as a VIP or login to your VIP account to view this content.

Cancel Login Register

Membership Required

You can see up to three trail guides without being logged in but after that we require you to be logged in to your Free or VIP account. If you don’t yet have an account you can register here.

Login Register