Last Updated: 11th Nov 2023

Beginner - Intermediate

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I've done it Done

The Other Okataina Trails

Rotorua, Bay of Plenty

Submitted by Mike Tennent

Last Updated: 11th Nov 2023

Beginner - Intermediate

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I've done it Done


Grunt Factor: 24 ?

Gnarl Factor: 27 ?








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Trail Map

Type of Run

Front country - easily accessible


Undulating, some big hills

Native bush

Plantation/exotic forest


Open tussock/grasslands

Run Makeup


Gravel Road

Farm Road / 4WD Track

Easy Single Track

Moderate Single Track

Technical Single Track

Average Uphill Gradient: +7.1%

Average Downhill Gradient: -8.0%


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Estimated Times to Run







Many runners know of Western Okataina Trail... if asked they will probably tell you it runs from Millar Road (near Lake Okareka) to Lake Okataina... in actual fact it runs past the Okataina Education Centre and all the way out to Lake Rotoiti... which is where this run starts.

You will get warmed up quickly as the trail - which is 4WD track for the first 750m - climbs 100m vert in the first 500m. About that point there is a split in the trail - take the left turn towards the power pylons. About 250m on the right is the entrance to the single trail. and away you go... from there on the trail is pretty good. There are signs and orange triangles at intersections - always take the trail to the Education Centre.

After nearly 6km you will come to a sign on your right to Te Auheke Track. Take this trail and after about 600m you will come to a 3-way intersection - head right to the Cascades. Enjoy the lovely falls and then head back and take the other trail which will spit you out by the Education Centre. At the Education Centre head right and follow the edge of the bushline past the water tank and to the shelter/trail-head. Here you turn left and follow the gravel road about 200m until it reaches the sealed road. Right opposite you will see the entrance to Ngahopua Track - head in there and follow this trail for 3.6km, past the two lakes.

After 1.5km you will come to a sign, head onto Anaha Track and follow that through to the sealed road again. Once more you head over the road and on to the trail opposite and follow this to the Education Centre... past the sign to the Lake and past the sign to the trig. Once back at the Education Centre retrace your steps past the water tank again, but pass the trail you exited earlier and follow the small walkway fence to the next trail. About 200m in you will cross the earlier Te Auheke intersection, then retrace your steps to the start!

Cascade Falls (Glow-worms at night if you are there), a small lake and a smaller lake and lots of wonderful runnable trail.

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.

There is a small area to park in... but it is an underused trail so you shouldn't have any problems.

23 km

21 minutes




Just stop at intersections if you are not sure... take a look around... maybe take a printout of this guide or pdf on your phone (there is no mobile coverage)


Waterproof leggings, Thermal leggings, Long-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Windproof 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

Water at the Cascades Stream and the Education Centre.

A couple of muddy spots but pretty good all year round.

Some tripping hazards, but overall pretty safe.

Trail Legend

Karen Maxwell

Karen Maxwell

has completed The Other Okataina Trails once in the last year.

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Trail Reviews

Absolutely love these trails! Some. Hidden gems for rotorua! Amazing runnable trails with great views down to a few old volcanic craters... You even run through one! Just the right amount of technical to keep your mind switched on without having to break stride. Easy to mix n match this route to suit what distance you want. You can also park at the outdoor education centre to you want more of a central start point.

Gregory Bassam

September 24, 2023

Although i didnt do this full run (just the first part to the waterfall and education centre, then i continued on the rest of WOW to miller road)
i just wanted to pop a comment for anyone planning on it this summer (2023) that in the valley it is quite overgrown with blackberry and thistles, also there is quite a large tree fallen down on steep bank - youll carefully need to navigate over&under it otherwise its all good fun! the waterfall is absolutely beautiful if you go after some rain.

Thanks mike for directions and info about this trail - i will be back to finish off the rest another time

Linda Downes

January 15, 2023

I LOVED this run. EXCELLENT directions Mike, thank you so much! 3 hours of single track with a couple of decent hills thrown in. There are wallabies in the first section so don't be alarmed by the noise in the bush as they scramble to get away from you. (Yes, seriously!). I navigated it ok. A couple of a questionable turns. In the first section you come to a t-junction at about 3kms. Go left. And then another where the orange arrows point to the left and the track descends into the valley - this is also correct. The track has been cleared at the bottom of the valley as of Jan 2021 so it's good there now, though super boggy even in mid-summer. Lots of bird life by the lakes, and the waterfall is especially amazing.

Jayne Tankersley

February 1, 2021

Really enjoyed this trail.. apart from the short section through head high grass, thistles & blackberries in the valley. I am absolutely hopeless at navigation but found my way fairly easily (ok a couple of double backs). I would again!

Bethany Cantwell

January 6, 2020

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