Last Updated: 2nd Apr 2024


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Desert Road - Waihohonu Huts - Ohinepango Spring

Waihohonu Track

Waiouru, Manawatu - Wanganui

Submitted by DJ Gillming

Last Updated: 2nd Apr 2024


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I've done it Done


Grunt Factor: 18 ?

Gnarl Factor: 39 ?








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Trail Map

Type of Run

Front country - easily accessible

Out and Back

Undulating, small hills only

Native bush

Open tussock/grasslands


Run Makeup


Moderate Single Track

Average Uphill Gradient: +3.0%

Average Downhill Gradient: -3.0%


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Estimated Times to Run







A nice easier/shorter option than the out & back route from Whakapapa, to see the sights around this side of Ruapehu. It is well marked, as it joins into the Round The Mountain Track, so easy to find the way to the modern Waihohonu hut, onwards to see the historic hut, and a slight detour on the way back to see the springs.

Be prepared for boggy conditions, wet feet & scoria grit ( whether wet or dry) !! The times stated are moving time; you likely want to allow for extra time to enjoy stopping at the points of interest. 

The historic Old Waihohonu Hut, the flash new hut, and the crystal clear Ohinepango Springs.

Approximately 200m off the Desert Road, there is a carpark for the trailhead.

30 km

20 minutes





Waterproof leggings, Thermal leggings, Lightweight fleece top, Long-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Beanie/thermal headwear, Personal Locator Beacon (PLB), Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Survival bag, Cellphone, Map, Gaiters

A short enough run that you should manage with BYO, but the new hut should have water or you could also top up in a stream or at the springs.

This is in an alpine environment, so be prepared for changeable conditions at any time of the year! Can be scorching hot in summer, though it can also be very cold & wet , and even snow at any time of the year!

The Chocolate Eclair Shop
World Famous ( in Ohakune! and beyond) for their Massive Chocolate Eclairs . They also do an awesome sponge roll & fairy cakes, never skimping on the fresh cream ;) Unfortunately, only open 1/2 the year, from end of May through autumn.

Trail Legend

Raewyn Peters

Raewyn Peters

has completed Desert Road - Waihohonu Huts - Ohinepango Spring once in the last year.

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Trail Reviews

Loved this trail. For so many years drove Desert Rd at 100km marveling at the scenery flash by, but the other day planned to take time to stop run this trail. Great, easy well-marked track, with a very gentle gradient. Do take good gear as weather can change quickly. Not hard or technical, but beautiful countryside.

Glen Brownlee

September 25, 2019

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