Kaweka Run and SoakBeginner - Intermediate
Submitted by Tim Thatcher
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Front country - easily accessible
Undulating, some big hills
Beginner - Intermediate
This one of a kind run takes you along the mighty Mohaka river to the famous Mangatutu Hot Springs. The loop starts at the popular carpark and campground where you amble along the riverside. The well marked single track hugs the river and gives glimpses of towering cliff faces. You quickly arrive at Te Puia lodge before coming to a swing bridge (if at night time there are some glow worms five meters north of the bridge under a punga tree). Cross the swing bridge and keep going over some gentle climbs to the Hot Springs. These plastic tubs are nestled in a grove of native bush and offer a beautiful experience. After your dip head back to the swing bridge then right up the hill (steep) towards Makino hut. At the top head left down a gentle ridge to the road. Alternatively, you can go check out the Hut which is a short way down the track but you must double back to the track junction. Once down the ridge turn left and cruise back along the gravel to the carpark. There are more Hot Springs with a nice vista over the river there. Please take a map and stop to read the signs. It is a well marked track and there are only a few intersections.
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Features of interest
The first part of the run takes you to the Mangatutu Hot Springs. These wonderful springs are a great place to either have a dip or just check out. There are also hot springs at the carpark for a well earned post-run soak. The river also offers some great swimming.
Make Up of Run
Technical Single Track: 50%
Moderate Single Track: 30%
Easy Single Track: 10%
Gravel Road: 10%
From Napier head along Puketitiri road towards the ranges. The carpark is well signposted towards the end of the road. There is about 15km's of gravel road towards the end and some parts are very narrow. There is also a ford to cross. This can be uncrossable during heavy rain so it might be worthwhile having a plan B to run up Kaweka instead.
The main carpark can be very busy during peak times but there is usually ample space. There is no public transport to the trail head.
The Makino Hut intersection has had a lot of damage but is well worn now. As long as you stop to read the track signs and use a map the track is straightforward.
Lightweight fleece top, Short-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, Compass, Map, Headtorch and spare batteries.
There is water at Te Puia Lodge and Makino Hut.
The ford can be uncrossable by car in heavy rain. The track is very popular with hunters especially around Makino Hut during the Roar. Wear high vis and be loud! It is a nice sheltered run and one of the most well used routes in the Kawekas.
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