Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023

Intermediate - Experienced

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Waiopehu Gable Grunt

Levin, Manawatu - Wanganui

Submitted by Stephanie Berry

Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023

Intermediate - Experienced

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I've done it Done


Grunt Factor: 49 ?

Gnarl Factor: 83 ?








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Trail Map

Type of Run

Front country - easily accessible



Native bush

Open farmlands

Open ridges/tops

Run Makeup


Farm Road / 4WD Track

Easy Single Track

Technical Single Track

Average Uphill Gradient: +13.2%

Average Downhill Gradient: -15.5%


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Estimated Times to Run







Topo map is essential. Head off from the carpark at Poads Road and follow the poled route across the paddocks until you come to the track proper. When you get to the first junction take the right hand track marked Waiopheu Hut - this is part of the Te Araroa Trail. There is a second junction further up - continue on the right hand trail.

Just keep on climbing, and climbing and climbing. The hut is about 9km up. There is water but I think this needs to be boiled so it would pay to take enough for the whole trip. There is a toilet at the hut though. From the hut keep climbing up to Twin Peaks and the Memorial beacon. You then have a small descent and another wee climb before the next junction which is the turn off down the Gable End Ridge Track. At this point you'll be hoping it's all down hill from here but sadly you'd be disappointed - there's a few gentle undulations as you make your way back down the mountain.

Stick right all the way down past the first turnoff and head along the Ohau Gorge before rejoining the track just before the farmland again and back to the carpark. My watch stopped at 21.9km but with a little calculating worked it out to be 23km round trip. Not for the faint hearted.

This trail includes the peak Twin Peak.

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Large carpark area with a longdrop for last minute necessities. No water available here so make sure you fill up before leaving Levin.

11 km

13 minutes




Generally good.

Thermal leggings, Long-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Windproof jacket, Gloves, Beanie/thermal headwear, Personal Locator Beacon (PLB), Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Survival blanket, Cellphone, Map, Headtorch and spare batteries

Water at the hut is fine to drink

Very muddy after rain
Exposed to cold winds
Snow in winter

Trail Legend


Levi Hibbert

has completed Waiopehu Gable Grunt once in the last year.

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Trail Reviews

Definately a high gnarl factor on this one. The first half up to waiopehu hut is a decent 9km slog, not super steep or technical but quite boggy in places but wooden pathways are currently being installed in the worst places by a super team of vollies.
From the hut onwards is where it gets gnarly. Steep, undulating, rocky, rooty, grasses covering the track on the tops, many bogs. I went in up to my knee at one so be careful and just go around them. I don’t think these bogs are being covered by the wooden paths and they seem to stay boggy all through summer.
The decent is steep and seems to go on forever. I reckon if you want to ramp up the grunt factor then do the trail clockwise (gable ridge first).
Also, there is currently a slip 4km from the end (just after you turn right off the swing bridge), there is a detour if you go about 100m up the Slip Disc (I think it’s called that) track and across a bush bashed track to the right above the slip. Super sketchy but doable if you hang on to the vegetation and back down carefully. After that it is plain sailing to the finish!

Richard Sinclair

January 7, 2022

This was a big day out! Quite a slog up to the hut and I made the mistake of thinking I was halfway time-wise at that point. The second part was VERY muddy. I used the dogs as a measure of just how muddy - if their legs disappeared I definitely had to go around. The descent went on seemingly forever but there were some lovely views. Lots of tripping hazards so go carefully. Ran into several friendly hikers along the way.

Richele McKenzie

September 23, 2019

Fun track up to Waiopehu Hut. We had planned to go around Gable Ridge but the weather packed in big time (typical Tararuas) so went down the same way. Very boggy and hard to avoid going straight through mud in some places, so be prepared for wet feet.

Ali Hamilton

January 25, 2019

Completed the track yesterday. Good track, I'd definitely say more of a tramping track than a running track due to how much MUD there was and there was heaps - just kept on going. If you're after a good running trail I wouldn't recommend this. Completed in just under 7 hours.

Ella Ballantyne

January 13, 2019

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