Ring of Fire - Leg OneIntermediate
Submitted by Mike Tennent
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Front country - easily accessible
Point to Point (one way)
Native bushRiversideOpen tussock/grasslandsOpen ridges/topsVolcanic
Starting at the Chateau, you head up the Bruce Road for 200 - 300 metres past the Info Centre and past the Motor Camp entrance watching for a green sign on your right with 6 trails listed on it. When you reach that you turn right onto the trail, over a bridge and you are away.
Just follow the single trail, a few hundred metres in you will come to a trail coming in from the right (the Whakapapanui Trail), ignore this and keep running. A while later you will come to the fork for the Silica Rapids Track, take the right hand path. From here on you will only have one more intersecting track at about 4km.... this time from the right... go straight ahead towards Whakapapaiti Hut.
The trail from about 5km gets to be more of a route at times where you will be following the poles with no defined trail. You will have a river crossing on this section, when you reach that, the safest thing to do is just wade across and get wet feet. However if your balance is good and you have good grip on your shoes then you can probably rock-hop. Once over the river you actually veer downstream a touch, so look that way for the marker post.
Once past the Hut the trail is pretty straightforward to the intersection with the Round the Mountain Track. At that point head right and follow the track to the Turoa Skifield Road. The trail/route is very well marked and not complicated.
Towards the end you will come to the waterfall... you climb the rocks to the left of the waterfall, once past the first section keep an eye out for the marker pole and carefully cross the stream. Then climb the next section and do the same again at the top... then carry on the climb to the top.
There are currently no members to show for this trail.
Features of interest
On this route you will see rivers, waterfalls (and climb one), a lake or two.... amazing views on a fine day and so much more. It is technical, difficult and almost always muddy in places and swampy in others. You will get wet feet, a muddy bum and have the time of your life!
Make Up of Run
Untracked / Route only: 25%
Technical Single Track: 40%
Moderate Single Track: 20%
Easy Single Track: 15%
Farm Road / 4WD Track: 0%
Gravel Road: 0%
Sealed Road: 0%
The Ring of Fire race starts at the Chateau Tongariro, so you can park anywhere around there... or you can drive a couple of hundred metres up the road and start opposite the start of the actual trail.... the Whakapapaiti Valley Track.
Generally plenty of parking except for at the height of ski season and you almost definitely wouldn't want to do this trail at that time of year!
If you lose sight of markers or poles for more than a hundred metres or so then backtrack.
Waterproof leggings, Thermal leggings, Lightweight fleece top, 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 bag, Cellphone, Map, Headtorch and spare batteries, Gaiters.
Several streams for water if required
Not recommended from May through to the end of winter unless you are a very experienced winter mountain runner.
Rocks, mud, roots,rivers, streams... pretty much every hazard you could expect to meet except wild animals
Remember at all times that this is a volcanic mountainous environment where the weather conditions can change in an instant. Always make sure someone knows where you are and when you are expected out. Take a minimum of the gear I have listed and stay safe!
Post run indulgence
The Mountain Rocks Cafe & Bar
53 Clyde Street, Ohakune
Been there many times after Ohakune adventures and never been let down. Great coffee and excellent food.
Sponsor this trail