Tussock McTussockster HalfBeginner - Intermediate
Submitted by Orla Drylie
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Back country - remote
Point to Point (one way)
Undulating, some big hills
Native bushOpen tussock/grasslandsVolcanic
Beginner - Intermediate
Follow the signs for Waihohou Hut. It is about 5km from Desert Road. It's a nice place to pause for a little break. Take a detour to visit the old hut or keep heading towards Whakapapa/Tama Lakes.
Approx 12km in, you will pass Tama Lakes on the right. At the T-junction (15km in), you have the option to take a short detour to either A: Lower Tama lakes, which will just take a few minutes, or B: Upper Tama lakes, which will be a bit of a gut-busting climb up, but well worth it on a fine day. It's 7km to Whakapapa Village then.
19km in, you have the option to either go past the Taranaki Falls, or head straight back to the village without visiting the Falls. Same distance back to base whichever route you choose. Enjoy an ice-cold dip in some streams along the way if you go via the Falls.
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Features of interest
Both the old and the new Waihohonu Huts are a nice attractions. Great volcanic views en-route of Mt Ruapehu and Mt Ngauruhoe
Make Up of Run
Technical Single Track: 20%
Moderate Single Track: 20%
Easy Single Track: 50%
Farm Road / 4WD Track: 10%
On State Highway 1 - Desert Road, approximately 30km south of Turangi and 30km north of Waiouru.
DOC signposted for Waihohonu Track/Hut
No public transport. There is a small carpark (but you probably need a 4WD) off the road. Otherwise, parking on the roadside of State Highway 1
Follow the ski poles - you can't go wrong
Long-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Beanie/thermal headwear, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Cellphone, Map.
Hut and streams along the way
It is very exposed and remote, and the weather can turn instantly so always be prepared with extra clothing
Post run indulgence
Great coffees, food to suit all budgets and eating habits
Good old pub grub with lots of beers on tap
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