Submitted by Anna Brooke
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Front country - easily accessible
Undulating, small hills only
Native bushOpen ridges/topsVolcanic
Fastest Known Times (FKTs)
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Start out on a volcanic sandy undulating trail which is the theme of the run. Epic views of Ngaruahoe and Ruapehu will keep you going strong as you gradually ascend towards the hut. Through pockets of native bush and open alpine shrubbery you'll get a good taste of the Tongariro National Park. Once you turn the bend there are a few sandier and hillier patches to keep you pushing. You must stop at the ground freshwater spring to rehydrate! The final stretch takes you slowly down the Tukino skifield track, it's easy to run and soft underfoot but a bit of a grind to the finish line! NB the gpx file goes a little off trail (just for fun along the tops!)
Features of interest
Volcanic meets native bush meets alpine shrubs!
Make Up of Run
Technical Single Track: 10%
Moderate Single Track: 35%
Easy Single Track: 25%
Farm Road / 4WD Track: 30%
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
30 km North of Waiouru, the start is a DOC sign tucked away on the W side of the Highway. Signs for Waihohonu hut.
Best to drive. There is a carpark about 100m off the road. To close the loop you can hide a bike in the bushes near the end and ride the 9km back up the highway! If you have 2 cars, drop a car at the end and drive to the start.
Make sure you swing a left (south) down the round the mountain track and don't head over to Whakapapa!
Long-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Personal Locator Beacon (PLB), Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Cellphone, Map.
The groundwater stream is excellent. The hut has water but they recommend boiling it. There are a few other streams (Waihohonu) which are a little off track at times but there if you need it.
May be under snow in winter! Alpine conditions so check the weather before you go. A little muddy after snowmelt or lots of rain. Quite exposed terrain so you'll feel the wind.
Post run indulgence
Cafe express Waiouru
Pizza, get the pizza and your body will thank you
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