Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023

Beginner - Intermediate

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I've done it Done

Whakarewarewa Rainbow

Rotorua, Bay of Plenty

Submitted by Ben Alton

Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023

Beginner - Intermediate

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I've done it Done


Grunt Factor: 65 ?

Gnarl Factor: 17 ?








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Trail Map

Type of Run

Urban fringe


Undulating, some big hills

Native bush

Plantation/exotic forest


Run Makeup


Sealed Road

Farm Road / 4WD Track

Easy Single Track

Moderate Single Track

Average Uphill Gradient: +5.3%

Average Downhill Gradient: -5.3%


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Estimated Times to Run







This is the 6 coloured walking tracks in the whakarewa forest that all start at the visitor centre and run from longest to shortest (black, purple, yellow, green, blue, red). All tracks are marked with coloured arrows and are easy to follow. You can park a car near the start for you very own aid station (the really smart place to park is at the end of longmile road, nearest to the scion gate and the MTB skills park, this way you can pass your aid station of the 3 longest tracks without any deviation form the course (important for the strava crown). Lake Front Road that goes along the edge of the Green lake is currently closed due to access issues with local Iwi but a detour is in place (this gpx file is for the detour)

This trail includes the peak Pohaturoa.

Lake views and native trees

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.

Easy parking, the gates are no longer locked at night

5 km

9 minutes




Follow the arrows and stick to the trails

Generally good.

Long-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Gloves, Beanie/thermal headwear, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Cellphone, Map, Headtorch and spare batteries

There is water at the visitor centre and then at 2 more locations on the black track, you pass a water stop again on purple.

Very well draining soil so mud not really an issue.

There are occasionally trees down on the black track that don't always get cleared as quickly as other tracks

The Good Eastern Taphouse
Tarawera Rounabout, Lynmore
The burgers are great, so is the beer. I highly recommend the Box of Birds

You and Whakarewarewa Rainbow

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Trail Reviews

Thanks Ben for submitting this. I wouldn’t have thought of this as an option but it came in real handy today as a substitute mission for the cancelled 2022 Tarawera. It was 100% humidity so a really challenging day but it’s always beautiful to be amongst the redwoods! If you don’t have a mobile aid station (I didn’t), you can refill water at the toilet block 3/4 of the clockwise way round the black track, then at the bottom of the skills area for the purple and yellow tracks. There is a lot of 4wd tracks which was hard work in uncushioned trail shoes, next time I’d go for more cushion

Joe Benbow

February 12, 2022

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These overlap with this trail 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 activity for each.

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