Valley of the Killer Zombie WallabiesBeginner
Submitted by Rob Edkins
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Front country - easily accessible
Out and Back
Undulating, some big hills
Native bushPlantation/exotic forest
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The 'Little O' starts at the Millar Road entrance to the Western Okataina Track at the north end of Lake Okaraeka.
Sound familiar? It should, it's the start line for the 62km event at the Tarawera Ultra (about 23km in for the other distances). So if you're thinking of having a crack at TUM it's a good place to start for a bit of a course recce.
To get there head out of Rotorua toward the airport, then turn right onto Tarawera Road. Take a left when you get to Okaraka Loop road and follow this down to the Lake, turning left onto Millar road just before the lake shore. Stay on Millar Road as it turns to gravel and keep going until you see the sign on the left for the track.
The track starts out as a deceptively gentle climb through regenerating bush on what looks like old farm or forestry roads, and keeps going steadily up for most of the first 3km. The next bit is a longish descent into a valley where the running is pretty easy for the most part, but outside of the brief period in November when the track is cleared by TUM volunteers there can be a fair bit of wild blackberry and gorse around in some of the narrower places to give the legs a lashing. There are usually plenty of birds around and if you keep your eyes open through this bit there's a fair chance you might have an encounter with the local wallabies (contrary to some reports they're probably not carnivorous...when anyone is watching).
The next bit is a fairly steep couple of upward kilometres and at about 11km you'll come to a fork in the track where the Western Okataina track (and the TUM course) heads right toward the TUM aid station at the top of Lake O and the Rangitoto Peak track goes left.
Head left and in a couple of km there's one last climb to the Okataina trig up on Rangitoto Peak. There are some pretty cool views of the lakes from up here and down toward Kawerau.
The rest is basically just retracing your steps back to the car, though an option would be to arrange a pick up at Lake Okataina. The round trip from Millar road is just over 25km.
Features of interest
Make Up of Run
Technical Single Track: 15%
Moderate Single Track: 25%
Easy Single Track: 40%
Farm Road / 4WD Track: 20%
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
Millar Road entrance to Western Okataina Track.
To get there head out of Rotorua on SH30 toward the airport, then turn right onto Tarawera Road by the Redwoods. Take a left when you get to Okaraka Loop Road and follow this down to the Lake, turning left onto Millar road just before the lake shore.
Stay on Millar Road as it turns to gravel and keep going until you see the sign on the left for the track.
There is some parking beside Millar Road at the track entrance.
Pick up a trail map at the Rotorua I-Site.
Waterproof leggings, Lightweight fleece top, Long-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Beanie/thermal headwear, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Cellphone, Map.
Carry own water.
Can be cool in winter and bad weather.
Wild blackberry and gorse.
Post run indulgence
Fat Dog Cafe
1161 ARAWA STREET ROTORUA NEW ZEALAND
A Rotorua classic. Great food and atmosphere. Open late
10 Tarawera Rd. Rotorua
Nice food and handy to the Redwoods
- Blog Posts and Articles
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See other runs nearby:
Tokorangi Pa Track
Tarawera Trail Route Recce
Blue and Green Lake Loops
Whakarewarea Circuit - the Black Track
Yellow Plus Cardiac
Fat Man's Run
Okataina...Eastern & Western
The Other Okataina Trails
3 of the Best
RTRC Club Track Loop
A Roundabout Way to the Lost Tank
Whirinaki Long Loop
Lake Okareka Walkway
As You Do Loop
Not Your Usual Rangitoto
Tennent's and Mistletoe Loop