Last Updated: 25th Apr 2024

Intermediate - Experienced

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I've done it Done

Atene Skyline Track

Whanganui, Manawatu - Wanganui

Submitted by Mike Tennent

Last Updated: 25th Apr 2024

Intermediate - Experienced

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I've done it Done


Grunt Factor: 39 ?

Gnarl Factor: 58 ?








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Trail Map

Type of Run

Back country - remote


Very hilly

Native bush

Open ridges/tops

Run Makeup


Sealed Road

Farm Road / 4WD Track

Easy Single Track

Moderate Single Track

Technical Single Track

Untracked / Route only

Average Uphill Gradient: +12.1%

Average Downhill Gradient: -13.7%


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Estimated Times to Run







After parking by the Southern entrance to the circuit run the 2km through Atene to the Northern start... you could save time here with two vehicles but leaving one at each end. The Northern end is clearly signposted.
You cannot go wrong with the early part, the path is well laid out and obvious. About 900m up the main track there is a stile and a gate into farmland... head on through. After following the track you will come from to a farm track (can be very muddy) - go left here up the hill.
About 2km from the road you will come to the Lookout which is the end of the Viewpoint Walk... you can have a quick look and snap a couple of pics. then carry on upwards.
For quite a while here it is grass, mud, and reasonably cruisy gentle uphill running. Just when I was staring to think it was going to be a bit of a dud the single trail started... and kicked my butt. There are times where you will have to watch carefully for the orange triangles... I had to backtrack a couple of times... but if you are careful you will get it done. The Shelter and Loo are at about the halfway mark. the exit from that area is just along from the right hand end of the shelter (took me a while to find it).

After that you will climb to the 2 Trigs.... at times you will think you are on your way down again... you are not... not until the last 4km when it drops rapidly (and you will have to be careful) -it is muddy in places and suddenly it will spit you out onto the farmland above the road.

Views...views and more views. A couple of Trigs and a shelter and Loo at about halfway

If you know of any public toilets near the trail start or on the route, please login and then let us know so we can update this section.

I parked about 50m up the road from the Southern end of the trail. Other options are to park in Atene...evidently there is a private property you can park on for a small fee, or there was a carpark at the Northern entrance.... but it was off the road and I am not sure how secure it would be.

33 km

40 minutes




From the Shelter onwards there are a few places where you will need to stop and work out where the next orange marker is.


Waterproof leggings, Thermal leggings, Long-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Windproof jacket, Gloves, Beanie/thermal headwear, Personal Locator Beacon (PLB), Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Survival bag, Cellphone, Compass, Map, Headtorch and spare batteries

There is water at the Shelter, supposedly good enough to drink

I ran this in winter. There had been a bit of rain and there were a few muddy bits both up and down. Towards the bottom of the big down it got quite treacherous and I finished up on my butt once.

There is quite a lot of ridge running on technical trail, you will need to concentrate... but the views and the trails make it all worth it.

Trail Legend

Elly Arnst

Elly Arnst

has completed Atene Skyline Track 9 times in the last year.

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Trail Reviews

Easter Monday 2022 & just completed Atene Skyline. Trail was all good today. Bone dry. A bit of a slip to scramble over on the first section and a few bits of windfall in the later sections, but nothing major.

The autumn leaves covered the trail so much in a couple of spots that I lost the trail for a few minutes.

A few very large goats in the campground today, and some kunekune piglets who ran with me on the road section back to their farm.

Squeeze it in now before the Winter weather makes it too wet and slippery.

Paul Curran

April 18, 2022

Great run, bit knarly with wind fall and technical sections on the track.

Karl Zimmerman

May 30, 2021

Love it.

Jeffrey Smith

March 1, 2021

This is a great trail in the Whanganui area with some great views and a great variety of terrain, some of the single track can get fairly narrow with drop offs on both side though, so watch out for this.
We completed this in the anti-clockwise direction, parking at the northern entrance and running down the road to the start of the southern entrance. We decided to do it in this direction so that we got the steeper up hill section out of the way early and got to enjoy the gentler downhill section at the end, finishing at the car. It was really dry when we did it, but can imagine the steeper section towards the southern entrance would became very slippy in wet weather, so recommend you do this route on a dry day in summer. We will definitely be back to run this again when in the area again!

We captured a quick video of the route while out there, if anyone is interested in checking out the trail:

Jo Pearce

November 17, 2020

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