Last Updated: 8th Oct 2023


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RTRC Natives Loop

Rotorua, Bay of Plenty

Submitted by Mike Tennent

Last Updated: 8th Oct 2023


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I've done it Done


Grunt Factor: 12

Gnarl Factor: 21








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Trail Map

Type of Run

Urban fringe


Undulating, some big hills

Dog Friendly

Native bush

Plantation/exotic forest

Run Makeup


Farm Road / 4WD Track

Easy Single Track

Technical Single Track

Average Uphill Gradient: +7.7%

Average Downhill Gradient: -7.6%


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Estimated Times to Run







Starting from the carpark head out on the trail towards Blue Lake with Tarawera Road on your left. You will pass a couple of mountain bike trails off to your right and at about 450m you will see another trail to your right... look in and you should see pink ribbons to guide you. Follow the pink ribbons as this new trail winds its way up and eventually you will pop out of the bush next to Eagle vs Shark MTB trail. Cross over onto the walking trail and follow it to the clearing with the picnic table. Stop and take it the vista!

Head out the other side on the 4wd forestry track ignoring all the MTB trails until you merge with and then come to the intersection at the top of Hill Road. At this point you take a right onto the forestry road down the hill (Direct Road). Follow this to where the road splits and take the right track (Indirect Road) ignoring all side trails.

Follow this lovely tree-lined trail for about a kilometre until you come to a clearing with multiple trails coming and going, look on your right for Apumoana Exit - you will see that walkers and runners are allowed down this trail. Being an uphill MTB trail this is fantastic downhill running, just be aware of the upcoming bikes and you will have a blast.

About 2.5km later the trail splits (ignore any side trails before that) take the right hand split and you will come onto a forestry road shortly after... head left to the next intersection and on the corner look for another shared trail called Te Pou-Koropu. Follow this lovely winding and runnable trail all the way back to the carpark - you will cross one forestry road, just look for the trail continuation on the other side.

Some lovely knarly trail that is 'only just' formed... also some amazing views over Lake Rotorua and Lake Okareka.

Massive Carpark, toilets and cafe all there for before you start or after you finish.

0 km

0 minutes




If you miss the right branch at the bottom of Apumoana you will come onto another Forestry Road, turn right and go to the next intersection where the next trail starts.


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

Nothing other than at the carpark at each end.

Rotorua is pretty good underfoot all year round, tree roots however can be slippery when wet.

Trail Legend


George Furstenburg

has completed RTRC Natives Loop once in the last year.

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Trail Reviews

I had a really good time running and hiking this loop,
the new uphill track now has a name and a sign - called Te Putake o Tawa, easy as to follow right through.
i took a detour and went up & down frontal labotamy for extra vert then carried on as per the intsructions. the Apumoana Exit was a great downhill track to run, so, so good - it was wide enough to be able to move over for upcoming mtbikers and not cause any issues. I would do this loop again!

Linda Downes

September 29

Really enjoyed the mix of surfaces, from freshly cut track at the start to nice flowy easy downhills at the end. Great facilities at the big car park too. On a busy day you’ll be dodging bikes on the main downhill trail, so keep an eye out!

Tom Brennan

April 15, 2023

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