Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023

Beginner - Intermediate

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I've done it Done

Okataina...Eastern & Western

Rotorua, Bay of Plenty

Submitted by Mike Tennent

Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023

Beginner - Intermediate

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I've done it Done

Closed More info

The Eastern kataina Walkway is closed due to a large slip. It is dangerous due to the fractured and unstable slip face high above the walkway. There is an extreme probability of further rock falls. Last reviewed on 24 August 2021. More info here.

Please notify us if this has changed.

Grunt Factor: 52 ?

Gnarl Factor: 54 ?

33.7km

1229m

1062m

720m

  

  

  

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Trail Map

Type of Run

Front country - easily accessible

Point to Point (one way)

Undulating, some big hills

Native bush

Plantation/exotic forest

Lakeside

Open tussock/grasslands

Run Makeup

25%
25%
50%

Easy Single Track

Moderate Single Track

Technical Single Track

Average Uphill Gradient: +7.3%

Average Downhill Gradient: -6.7%

Trailhead

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Estimated Times to Run

7:00

Slow

5:30

Moderate

4:00

Fast

I have run these trails many times before, however I have only run them both together once in the Tarawera Ultra back in 2012... and that was the other direction. This time I was trail-checking for the 2019 Tarawera Ultra 102km and 160km and got dropped off by boat at 5:45am... not to be recommended... Eastern Okataina (EOW) is a very technical trail almost completely and in the dark - even with a pretty good light - it was tricky and easy to lose the trail. However in daytime you shouldn't have too much trouble - although occasionally you will have to stop and look for the next orange triangle. It is about 8km from the jetty at the Outlet to Humphries Bay - a famous TUM aid station, at the end of the bay, watch out for the EOW sign pointing right and away you go.

From there the trail is very easy to follow.... there are a couple of small trails off to the left between here at Okataina... ignore them, or if you have time then explore... they only take you to the lake. Once you reach the carpark at Okataina you should be at close to 18km. Look to the right for a pathway that leads up to the toilets, take the path. Stop at the loo if you need but carry on the trail past it to the left -  this will eventually spit you out on the road.

Look over the road and you will see another trail and DOC sign. Head over and start climbing, following this trail for about 2km until you come to a sign pointing you to the Education Centre. Follow that trail for about 700m, keeping an eye out for a trail to the left take that trail and you are on Western Okataina Walkway (WOW). Then you really start climbing, so take your time and start the trudge. In the next 4km you will climb about 350m, often in short quite steep bursts. You will come to a sign with an option to the Trig. Again, if you wish, take the side route, there are excellent views over Lake Rotorua and Lake Rotoiti. That side trip will add about 4km. Otherwise follow WOW predominantly down from here through to Millar road, enjoy all sorts of trail and countryside and know when you have finished you have done well.

Splendid views of historic Mount Tarawera

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.

Plenty of parking at The Landing. Not so much at the Millar Road end although room for 2 or 3 and away from TUM it is usually quiet.

83 km

93 minutes

Unknown

No

Moderate.

On Eastern Okataina Walkway, you may 'lose' the trail occasionally. take the time to look around and look for the orange triangles and you should be ok.

Very patchy.

Waterproof leggings, Thermal leggings, 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, Headtorch and spare batteries

While next to the lakes there is plenty... not much on WOW although a couple of streamlets you could get to if needed.

Can be a bit muddy and slippery in places when wet, although the area is volcanic, so you should be fine with a bit of care.

Tree roots, rocks, steep banks, uneven footing.

You and Okataina...Eastern & Western

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Trail Reviews

Completed this trail as part of the TUM102 in 2020 and again in 2021 as a successful finisher of the TUM Miler ... so you could say it holds a special place in my trail heart!
Have also done the various sections at different times, most recently being an out & back from Millar Rd to Okataina and return under lights on 28 December 2021.
Enjoy folks!

Toni Grace

January 7, 2022

Awesome trail. Very runnable. Make sure you add in the tarawera falls as it is spectacular and a real highlight.,the wester Okataina section is not so great but makes for a better loop back to the car option.

Dave Grimmer

October 25, 2021

Ran this beautiful trail with a small group of four. Getting a water taxi proved difficult and very expensive so we drove right around to Tarawera Falls. But that added a gorgeous 4.5km that was a fantastic way to start this track.
Note there is a big slip now very near Okataina (eastern side). Definitely one of the best trails around and I can why its part of the TUM.

Philip Secker

February 10, 2021

Ran as past of TUM102km 2020 after running sections seperate in training. So much variance in terrain and flora through this trail. Some very technical terrain thats hard to run as a beginner/intermediate runner, and some flowing wide trails. Super quiet area to get out and enjoy being alone on the trail. Stay at Lakes Lodge Okataina and run trails for days, amazing spot and super friendly hosts!

Brad Harris

March 3, 2020

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