You say Tomato, I say Te MataBeginner - Intermediate
Submitted by Mike Tennent
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Undulating, some big hills
Native bushPlantation/exotic forestOpen tussock/grasslandsOpen ridges/tops
Beginner - Intermediate
Head up the beautifully manicured trail from the carpark, until you enter the park proper after about 600m. Once you enter the bush watch for a red triangle pointer to your left. Follow that trail down, over the little bridge and then follow the arrows and head left.
Keep following the red triangles until you come out at the main carpark and seating area. Head across the carpark and look over the road for the red and blue arrows. Follow the blue from here - Rongokako Trail. You will go in and out of the bush, eventually coming out on the road.
Cross the road and you will see red and blue arrows. Follow them all the way to the top of Te Mata Peak. Once you have stopped and got the compulsory trig pics and view pics, exit onto the small trail at the opposite side from where you entered - it's a bit 'goat-trackish' but you will soon see blue triangles. The track splits shortly after here with red going left and blue right... keep following blue.
After a while on some magic downhill (mostly) single track you will reach a stile into an area of trees. Once over the stile turn hard right onto an unmarked but well-formed trail. This is the Yellow Trail - Karaka Wander - and this is another wee gem with some magic trail, some gnarly bits... and fossils!
You will come to the road at the point you crossed earlier on blue, but don't cross, turn hard left and stay on Yellow. Follow Yellow all the way to the main carpark again. From there, retrace your steps to your vehicle.
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Features of interest
Great trails, fantastic views from the top and from multiple other points on the run.... and keep an eye out for the fossilised seashells way up on the top of one of the hills.
Make Up of Run
Untracked / Route only: 0%
Technical Single Track: 20%
Moderate Single Track: 30%
Easy Single Track: 50%
Farm Road / 4WD Track: 0%
Gravel Road: 0%
Sealed Road: 0%
From anywhere in Havelock North put Tauroa Road into the GPS, once you get there take the road to the very end (not far)
Parking and toilets
There is usually an arrow in sight. If you go more than 200m without seeing a triangle then back-track. Towards the end on Yellow you come to a T-intersection - turn right here.
Long-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Beanie/thermal headwear, Personal Locator Beacon (PLB), Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Survival bag, Cellphone, Map.
There are water fountains at the main carpark but that's it.
Can be muddy in places, but generally good.
Some narrow rocky single trail where care is necessary... there are very big drop-offs.
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