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Hihitahi Highpoint, Manawatu - Wanganui

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Hihitahi HighpointBeginner - Intermediate

Submitted by Kirstine Collins

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Trail Information





Manawatu - Wanganui


Front country - easily accessible

Out and Back

Undulating, some big hills

Native bush
Open farmlands

Beginner - Intermediate

3:00 (Slow)
2:00 (Moderate)
1:15 (Fast)



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From the carpark run 50 meters across open paddock to the next stile. From the stile continue straight keeping to left of the tree line. At the end of the tree line turn left and follow the stream to the swingbridge.

Continue following the fence line through a swampy area. Keep close to the fence line where punga have been laid over the wet parts. Even in winter after rain this can be crossed with dry shoes. When the fenceline turns left look up the hill and you will see a large orange triangle on the fence. Climb the hill to the triangle, cross the fence and follow the trail marked by orange triangles.

The next 300m is the worst part of the track with some small mud patches and a little overgrown. The trail then climbs steeply up 100 vertical meters. At the 2km mark the gradient eases off and it is a great run for the next 2 km along the ridgeline. At the end you reach a clearing and continue a few meters along the track to the survey mark and views of Mt Ruapehu.

Now head back the way you came letting gravity help you home.

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Features of interest

Great views of Mt Ruapehu

Make Up of Run

Untracked / Route only: 20%

Technical Single Track: 10%

Moderate Single Track: 70%

Route Data


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Wild Explorers

I did it!
  • Access

    On SH1 12 km South of Waiouru or 16 km north of Taihape. Look for DOC signs which say Hihitahi Forest Sanctuary Access.

    Parking for 3 cars max without blocking farmers access

    10 km

    7 minutes



  • Staying Safe


    Make navigation of this route super-easy by using the Capra app on your phone. View on Capra .

    The first part through the farmland only has a couple of very faded markers sticking above the fenceline. Once over the fence the trail is clear and marked regularly with orange triangles. Be careful going up the steep section when you see pink ribbons tied around a couple of trees. The track doglegs to the right but there is a fainter trail straight ahead which is not the way. You can see the next orange triangle from the trees with pink ribbon.


    Long-sleeved thermal top, Windproof jacket, Personal Locator Beacon (PLB), Whistle, First aid kit, Survival bag, Cellphone.

    Water near the start but none once into the bush

    Small section at around 1.2 km has some mud patches in winter. They can mainly be traversed without muddy shoes except after rain.

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