Last Updated: 15th May 2024

Intermediate - Experienced

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Arawaru Trig Loop

Palmerston North, Manawatu - Wanganui

Submitted by Tim Carpenter

Last Updated: 15th May 2024

Intermediate - Experienced

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I've done it Done

Grunt Factor: 29 ?

Gnarl Factor: 49 ?








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Trail Map

Type of Run

Front country - easily accessible


Very hilly

Dog Friendly

Native bush

Run Makeup


Easy Single Track

Moderate Single Track

Technical Single Track

Average Uphill Gradient: +13.2%

Average Downhill Gradient: -11.7%


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Estimated Times to Run







From the carpark, head up to the trail head, DO NOT cross Black Bridge, but stay to the L) side to head along the Sledge Track.

There is approx 2.5km of undulating trail with a few steps, you will stay on the trail past the Arapuke Bridge (on your R) and The Elevation (to Hardings Park) on your L - this will be your return route later.

Continue on to Quartz Creek. This is the end of the main trail. Cross the creek and follow the orange triangles up the hill. This first part is quite steep and scrambly for the first few hundred metres up the ridge, the trail isn't too hard to follow but you need to pay attention. After this first part it flattens out, but the trail isn't highly used and you need to pay attention to the triangles, slope of the hill and natural run path. If you go more than 100metres without seeing a triangle then double check your route and GPS file. The path can be quite 'overgrown' in places, moving through low ferns etc but still quite followable.

There is a lookout half way up the climb at the first point, well worth a side trip of a couple of minutes, this is signposted. From here you can see Arawaru Trig. The track turns L at this junction, continuing up the next ridge to the Arawaru Trig which is the high point.

From here you continue on down the other side and this part is now recently cut by the track team, with a good trail through the 'Goblin Forest', for a couple of km, down to Otangane Track. Once you hit Otangane, turn L) and the trail is then well marked back to the Carpark Exit track (turn L) here) to head back out to the Toe Toe Loop, turn left again and this will bring you to the last part of the run.

At the top of the The Elevation, turn L) to head back down the long downhill (400m descent) which will see you back out to the Sledge Track (where you ran earlier) turn R) at the bottom to head back to the start, wash your shoes in the stream, job done.

This trail includes the peak Aruwaru.

Arawaru Trig is the highest named point in the Northern Tararua Range

There is a public toilet in the carpark.

There is a car park at the end of the road, can be busy on a nice weekend, make sure that you don't block any access gates

18 km

26 minutes




The trail is all marked with orange triangles, once you head up the Ridge from Quartz Creek then more attention is required, until you hit Arawaru Trig.

Generally good.

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

You cross some small streams, but should be carrying all that you will need

Can be wet, muddy, and windy at any time of the year.

Trail Legend

Richele McKenzie

Richele McKenzie

has completed Arawaru Trig Loop once in the last year.

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Trail Reviews

Loved the variety of flora. Kept the dog on a lead as the track up follows a trap line and there were loose poison pellets on the track. Very overgrown on the way up - I would say moderate is currently around 4 hrs 45.

Richele McKenzie

May 13

Although it is a great walk/run it was very overgrown in places. A few trees that had the orange tags to follow had fallen down so very easy to get lost if you don’t have your wits about you. Was very muddy from about half way up till you get to the top junction. If you like technical trails- this ticks a lot of boxes!

Zavana McAffer

February 26, 2023

Clocked 17.75km today. Last time was 16.4, if your following your km, allow for more.

Kelda Robinson

December 27, 2022

Love this technical trail. Stupidly i didn't wear pants and its significantly way more overgrown than when i did it in 2020.

Kelda Robinson

December 27, 2022

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