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Arawaru Trig Loop, Manawatu - Wanganui

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Arawaru Trig LoopIntermediate - Experienced

Submitted by Tim Carpenter

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Trail Information





Manawatu - Wanganui

Palmerston North

Front country - easily accessible


Very hilly

Native bush

Intermediate - Experienced

4:30 (Slow)
3:30 (Moderate)
2:30 (Fast)



NB Dec 2020: Parts of the track are very overgrown which may make navigation and negotiation difficult. Please email us if you have an update.

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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.

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Features of interest

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

Make Up of Run

Technical Single Track: 30%

Moderate Single Track: 30%

Easy Single Track: 40%

Route Data


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Overlapping Runs

The following trails overlap with this run to some degree. You may wish to combine them but please note that to qualify for FKTs on these runs you should record a separate Strava activity for each


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  • Access

    Take Kahuterawa Road (from Old West Road), and drive the to the end of the road.
    The last 3km is narrow gravel road, and there can be relatively high traffic on the weekend as is popular for walking, and moutain biking.

    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



  • Staying Safe


    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.

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