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Tussock McTussockster Half, Manawatu - Wanganui

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Tussock McTussockster HalfBeginner - Intermediate

Submitted by Orla Drylie

Info Info

Trail Information





Manawatu - Wanganui


Back country - remote

Point to Point (one way)

Undulating, some big hills

Native bush
Open tussock/grasslands

Beginner - Intermediate

4:20 (Slow)
3:00 (Moderate)
2:15 (Fast)



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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%

Route Data


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  • Access

    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

    30 km

    20 minutes



  • Staying Safe


    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

    Pihanga Cafe
    Whakapapa Village
    Great coffees, food to suit all budgets and eating habits

    Tussock Pub
    Whakapapa Village
    Good old pub grub with lots of beers on tap

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