Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023

Beginner - Intermediate

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Tuahu Traverse

Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023

Beginner - Intermediate

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I've done it Done


Grunt Factor: 18 ?

Gnarl Factor: 51 ?








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Trail Map

Type of Run

Front country - easily accessible

Point to Point (one way)

Very hilly

Native bush

Plantation/exotic forest

Run Makeup


Farm Road / 4WD Track

Easy Single Track

Moderate Single Track

Technical Single Track

Average Uphill Gradient: +13.2%

Average Downhill Gradient: -13.2%


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Estimated Times to Run







Run up the very well maintained gravel foot path to the Tuahu Kauri, and keep on heading up the Tuahu track until the North-South track junction.

Go straight through the junction and head on down to the Waikato. Once your on the gravel forestry track you want to take the first right (heading down) then there's two stream crossing and you pop out at a farm/forestry track, which runs you out to Wairakau Road.

Can take a detour up and along the north-south track (heading South) to have a look at the rocky outcrops around Kakarahi or run along to check the Motutapere hut out

Good Carpark at the top of the road, is relativly safe as there is a very popular short walk to the Tuahu Kauris (good 3 min detour)

39 km

36 minutes




Make sure you take the first right turn on the gravel road in the forestry, then there is two stream crossings in quick succession. it should only take about 10 min from the first turn in the forestry until you meet the main forestry road at the Tuahu track - lakes junction. There are three turn offs along the gravel section of forestry road before you get to the main track and you want to take the south west turn every time.


Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Beanie/thermal headwear, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Cellphone, Map

Lots of good clear streams

Track can be washed out after heavy rain and the stream crossings can be dodgy. Watch out for fresh slips also. Check the rain radar before you run it as it can be nice on the Katikati side and pissing down on the other

If taking the detour mentioned and summiting the rocky outcrops, they can be super slippery

Trail Legend

Shane  Bowling

Shane Bowling

has completed Tuahu Traverse once in the last year.

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Trail Reviews

Great trail - some nice little peaks through to some excellent views - bit harder coming back over again because your wife doesn’t feel she should drive a couple hundred kms to drop you off and pick you up! Poor attitude!!

Rob Holm

August 21, 2022

I did this as part of a 22km loop starting from Tuahu end on Wairakau Road through to Thompsons track and back down the road to the start. Be warned it changes from easy trail to omg what was I thinking with a super gnarly piece just after the Kakarahi Summit (about 7km in). The urge to belly crawl through this 800m stretch was strong. Exposed ridges that drop- away fast, ladders and sketchy dirt cliffs to climb up are features then it calms down a bit from there. Definitely a very challenging piece if you decide to continue on past Kakarahi. Stunning views across the Waikato Basin and through to Katikati on the other side.

Carol Howell

September 7, 2021

I really enjoyed this. Runnable gradient 98% of the way. While mostly nice wide-open track, still plenty of rocks & roots to keep you focused on footwork. I was lucky with a great day and awesome views out to both sides of the range.

Glen Brownlee

March 15, 2020

Great run initially through native bush before heading down some reasonably steep bits through Waihou Pine Forest. Logistics meant I did this as an out and back which measured just under 24km and 800m of vertical. Note that the start point on the map isn't at the car park but some ways down Tuahu Track. Also, be aware that at the bottom of the forest gravel track you'll get to a crossroads where you'll need to continue running round to the left on the past most used (the other three paths are less prominent). This is prior to the instructions given to taking the first right. Enjoy!

Anthony Sowerby

January 4, 2020

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