Last Updated: 29th Dec 2023

Intermediate - Experienced

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I've done it Done

Otanewainuku to Otawa

Last Updated: 29th Dec 2023

Intermediate - Experienced

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I've done it Done


Grunt Factor: 40 ?

Gnarl Factor: 41 ?








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Trail Map

Type of Run

Back country - remote

Point to Point (one way)

Undulating, some big hills

Native bush

Open farmlands

Run Makeup


Gravel Road

Farm Road / 4WD Track

Easy Single Track

Moderate Single Track

Technical Single Track

Untracked / Route only

Average Uphill Gradient: +8.9%

Average Downhill Gradient: -10.0%


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Estimated Times to Run







A fantastic, technical trail run for anyone experienced in the bush. Road runners tend to not like it - don't blame me! Parts are route marked only and not regularly maintained by DOC. You are following orange DOC triangles and signs for Otawa then Te Puke Quarry Road - then up Reid Rd South and into a farm raceway which is a paper road through to the top of Reid Road.

This trail includes the peaks Otawa and Whareotetarakeho.

Otanewainuku Kiwi Trust is involved in reducing pests and restoring native birdlife to the area.
Whataroa Falls is approx 3km from the trail start

Parking is available at the DOC shelters, however there can be issues with safety here so ensure your car is well locked and leave no valuables inside. On a sunny weekend the area is usually busy enough to be fine.

28 km

31 minutes



Very hard.

The 5 kms of trail South of Otawa trig are faint and poorly marked.
The track from Demeter Road Junction to Whataroa falls isn't marked on Topo Map or Doc Maps. Best tackled with a good amount of caution and a sense of adventure - be prepared to turn back. It's generally accepted to be easier to navigate from Otawa to Otanewainuku rather than vice versa.

Very patchy.

Thermal leggings, Lightweight fleece top, Long-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Beanie/thermal headwear, Personal Locator Beacon (PLB), Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Survival blanket, Cellphone, Map

Only available at Whataroa falls - unsure if that's rated drinkable!


Hunters active in the area.
Treefall can obscure parts of the track - cast carefully for the path.

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Trail Reviews

Great technical trail that starts very pleasantly on the well traveled Rimu walk and down to the water falls. As soon as you peel off left then you are instantly met by ferns and other undergrowth. This doesn't get much better until you get to Otawa trig.If you have the option to download the .gpx data into your watch, then I'd thoroughly recommend it, as it's easy to lose the sight of the orange triangles. One useful tip, if you can't find the next triangle, check both sides of the tree where the last one is affixed. I had noticed that sometimes the triangle was pointing straight, whilst the opposite side of the tree had a sideways positioned arrow (triangle), hinting that the trail veers of at an angle.Overall quite a challenging trail. This was the second time I did it in last five years and it might take another five to have a go again...

Petr Faitl

February 3, 2020

Great run, some untouched forest in the middle, plenty of birds, fallow deer and pigs, it is marked with orange triangles the whole way but not maintained in the middle..... you will spend some time on navigation.

Tony Bullot

January 18, 2020

Great off road track!! Marked with orange Doc triangles the whole way, but only recommend to the experienced as it is easy to go off the track. Advise to wear some sort of fluro as i came across some hunters who had just got a deer.

Samuel Shergold

October 14, 2018

A fantastic and challenging trail with some tricky navigation in some parts. I have never been so happy to see an orange Doc triangle before! Will definitely do this one again.

Noeline Best

October 7, 2017

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