Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023


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Tennent's and Mistletoe Loop

Rotorua, Bay of Plenty

Submitted by Mike Tennent

Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023


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I've done it Done


Grunt Factor: 12 ?

Gnarl Factor: 43 ?








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Trail Map

Type of Run

Front country - easily accessible


Undulating, some big hills

Dog Friendly

Native bush

Plantation/exotic forest


Run Makeup


Sealed Road

Easy Single Track

Moderate Single Track

Technical Single Track

Untracked / Route only

Average Uphill Gradient: +10.5%

Average Downhill Gradient: -10.4%


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Estimated Times to Run







Starting from opposite the Motor Camp, look to the right of the Motor Camp for Okareka Loop Road and make your way over Tarawera Road to the start of that road, about 50m down the road is an 80km sign. Go into the bush at the right of that to a small unmarked trail. This is the start of Tennent's track dubbed by Paul Charteris, founder of the Tarawera Ultra Marathon - which this is part of. Follow this pretty clear but un-marked track for 1.5km, there are a few small side trails but when unsure take the most worn trail or failing that, the one straight ahead. 

As you pass the water reservoir at the high point of this track, look for the trail straight ahead on the other side (not the gravel 4wd track). Eventually the trail pops out on Okaraka Loop Rd just short of Okareka. Turn right and cross the road, just past the large 'Slow down for Tamariki' sign is a smaller DOC sign saying 'Help Protect Native Mistletoe'. Just to the right of this is the start of the Mistletoe trail.

This trail is very clearly marked with white rectangle markers on trees. Follow these as you climb just under 200m in the next 1.5km. There are a few trapline trails to the side, they increase in number near the top. One is marked with white triangles... this is NOT the trail, keep following white rectangles. At around 3.4km you will come to an intersection with an old wooden seat. Take a right here onto the trail marked as "Saddle Track, Tarawera Rd".

Zoom down some lovely runnable single track interspersed with a little semi-technical, still following the white rectangles, and eventually, you will come out on Tarawera Road, look left and over the road and you will see a white section of barrier/fence, cross over and take the trail in just left of the barrier and almost immediately you are on the main track from town to Blue Lake... turn left.

You will quickly come to the start of the bush and 2 trails, take the track marked 'Feeder Track' and from here you follow the Black Track walking markers through to the Blue Lake. At Blue Lake turn left and follow that track to its end where it comes onto the grass as the lake foreshore, make your own way from here back to your vehicle.

Rare NZ Mistletoe if you know what to look for. Plus the lovely Blue Lake.

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.

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If you lose the white rectangles for any more than 50m on the Mistletoe Track/Saddle Track then backtrack until you find them again and look around.
On the section towards the end when you are following the Black track markers, you will a couple of times come onto shared MTB trails, turn right each time and stay on until you see the next Black Track marker (sometimes left and sometimes right).

Very patchy.

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

Other than the lake at the start and end there is nothing.

After heavy or prolonged rain pretty much all of this track will get very slippery, still passable but care will be required and good grippy shoes.

Tree roots, steep and sometimes slippery climbs and descents.

Trail Legend

Mike Tennent

Mike Tennent

has completed Tennent's and Mistletoe Loop twice in the last year.

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