Latham's Hill TrackBeginner
Submitted by Mike Tennent
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Front country - easily accessible
Native bushPlantation/exotic forestOpen farmlands
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There are a variety of options with this... I chose to run the loop anti-clockwise. This meant 1.5km of roadside to start with to get from the end of the trail where the car was parked to the beginning of the trail. Once you have done your penance on the road, climb the stile and follow the obvious track across the paddocks. You will go through several gates, make sure to leave them as you found them. The trail is marked with the usual orange triangles and you just follow these up the hill, into the bush and all the way to the trig. Once you have enjoyed the amazing views at the trig and snapped a few pics, carry on along the trail. From here it narrows quite a bit and is marked more sporadically with yellow squares. Then just follow these to the end of the trail, being careful on the big downhill at the end.
There is an option to do it in the other direction if steep downhills scare you... or do it out and back from either end of the trail section if you want to avoid the road
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Features of interest
Great views of the Whakatane coast
Make Up of Run
Untracked / Route only: 0%
Technical Single Track: 40%
Moderate Single Track: 20%
Easy Single Track: 10%
Farm Road / 4WD Track: 0%
Gravel Road: 0%
Sealed Road: 30%
Awakeri Hot Springs carpark is the place to start... it is on the road between Rotorua and Whakatane and is between Te Teko and Awakeri. It is on Google Maps so you should have no trouble.
Plenty of parking.
Early on you come to a wide paddock with no obvious trail... you can see what looks like a farm track/trail to the right, but the actual trail is to the left and uphill.
Heading down the big hill at the end, the trail is not always obvious, but for most of it there is a rutted section which is the main route... so stick close to that.
This will spit you out right by your vehicle and ready for a swim.
Waterproof leggings, Long-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Windproof jacket, Gloves, Beanie/thermal headwear, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Cellphone, Map.
None that you can get (you see a small waterfall early on but it is unreachable)
The big downhill can be very slippery, especially in autumn/winter when wet, where the wet leaves can make life 'interesting'
The aforementioned downhill, not extreme, but requires care and attention.
Post run indulgence
Awakeri Hot Pools
Right at the end of you run... food, coffee and a hot swim or spa!
Cos it's a great way to finish the run!
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