Last Updated: 9th Feb 2024


Save Trail Save

I've done it Done

Mt Hikurangi - Sacred Mountain

Gisborne, Gisborne

Submitted by Steve Hanmer

Last Updated: 9th Feb 2024


Save Trail Save

I've done it Done

Grunt Factor: 53 ?

Gnarl Factor: 46 ?








Login as a VIP to see driving directions, distance and time.

Trail Map

Type of Run

Back country - remote

Out and Back


Open farmlands

Open tussock/grasslands

Open ridges/tops

Run Makeup


Farm Road / 4WD Track

Technical Single Track

Untracked / Route only

Average Uphill Gradient: +14.5%

Average Downhill Gradient: -14.5%


Login as a VIP to see the trailhead information.

Estimated Times to Run







This really is a trip of 2 distinct halves. The first half is a very pleasant gentle stroll up to the hut through open farmland. Very easy to find your way, although the trip to the maori carvings requires a minor diversion from the main trail, but it is an extremely worthwhile sidetrip.

The very friendly landowner will give you detailed directions to the carvings, and there is then a 'short cut' to the hut from the carvings to save dropping back down to the main trail. If visibility is poor it would be much safer to backtrack onto the main trail.

Beyond the hut, this really does change into a challenging route. The gradient steepens, the track becomes more technical, and the navigation a lot more tricky. There is a poled route from the hut which climbs steeply and then sidles around to a very steep gully which is the start of the final ascent to the summit. There is a marker to indicate which gully to head up, but beyond this you have to find your own way. It is steep and loose, and there is some mild exposure in places, but on the whole, if care is taken, the summit can be reached fairly quickly. If you don't like steep loose stuff, this is possibly not for you.

I personally found it more difficult to descend the gully , so extra care should taken for this section in both directions. I took poles and found them very helpful.

Once you have made it safely back down the gully, it is a fairly straight forward trip back out the same way you came in.

Additional Hikurani Maunga information can be found here.

This trail includes the peak Mount Hikurangi.

This mountain is reputed to be the first place in NZ to see the sun on each new day.

This is also a sacred mountain and there are some huge maori carvings situated on a plateau at around 1000m altitude.

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.

There is a formal carpark just below the station manager's house. There is no public vehicle access past this point.

150 km

140 minutes


Name: Te Ara ki Hikurangi track crosses private farmland - leave gates as you find them and don't disturb stock. The track may be closed for short periods during the year for farming or cultural reasons. All closures will be publicly notified.
Telephone: Contact Te Runanganui o Ngāti Porou before you start: Te Runanganui o Ngāti Porou, 1 Barrys Avenue, Ruatoria 4032 Phone: +64 6 864 9004 Email: or


Navigation to the hut is very straight forward, through open farmland. Beyond the hut it is a poled route and could be difficult if visibility was poor. The final ascent to the summit (the last 150m-200m of ascent) is not marked at all, you follow a very steep/loose gully. This is by far the most difficult part of this trip and extra care should taken here. I personally found the descent harder than the ascent.


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

There is water at the hut. The climb to the hut is very open (no shade), so take plenty of water from the start and top up at the hut.

If the visibility is poor, the final ascent could be very tricky. The lower section could be very slippery following heavy rain.

Trail Legend


Simon Bartley

has completed Mt Hikurangi - Sacred Mountain once in the last year.

Learn about Trail Legends.

You and Mt Hikurangi - Sacred Mountain

As a VIP member you can record private notes for this trail, see all of your times and more.

Register Now

Already have an account? Login now

Trail Reviews

was well worth the effort. Beautiful views from the trig at the top. Hut at 10km mark if you want to stay.

Tautane Nuu

January 27, 2020

Many moons ago I got the privilege of playing here. We made life interesting by bush bashing our way west from the summit and overnighting in one of the most rugged places you can imagine. Great country, the Raukumara Range topography is just a sight to behold

Tony Sharpe

February 15, 2018

Login to submit a review

Trail Running Community

Find people who are interested in or have completed this trail run.

You must register or login to view this feature.

Register Now

Other trails nearby
The National Arboretum

The National Arboretum

Length: 10.0km

Level: Beginner

Kaiti Hill Repeats

Kaiti Hill Repeats

Length: 5.1km

Level: Beginner

Te Kuri Farm walkway

Te Kuri Farm walkway

Length: 5.5km

Level: Beginner

Find more trails and peaks nearby