Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023


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I've done it Done

Lap The Lake

Whanganui, Manawatu - Wanganui

Submitted by Melissa Franklin

Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023


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I've done it Done


Grunt Factor: 6 ?

Gnarl Factor: 18 ?








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Trail Map

Type of Run



Undulating, small hills only

Native bush


Run Makeup


Sealed Road

Easy Single Track

Technical Single Track

Average Uphill Gradient: +3.1%

Average Downhill Gradient: -3.2%


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Estimated Times to Run







Virginia Lake is a great little place to go for a run where there are no dogs, cars or cyclists. On occasion the geese can be a bit mean, but I'm sure you can run faster than them! You can loop around the lake as many times as you like, in many different directions, but this is the route I like to take which sees you running all three tracks (top, middle and bottom) around the lake and incorporates Otamatea Reserve as well.

Start on Babbage Place and run up the road past the Bird Aviary and kids playground. You will head up this road past Kawau Place and it will just end, but continue on the green strip towards Great North road. Run along side the road up the hill until you get to Virginia Lodge rest home. Go down the driveway to Otamatea reserve (dog exercise area).

Run straight across the reserve until you see the green strip that goes between two rows of houses. Run along this green strip until you exit on Norfolk Drive. Run across this road to the dirt track and continue on this track which will take you to the back entrance of the lake. Turn left past the gate and follow the single track as it undulates around the top of the lake. Once you hit a seal path turn right and then left and then left again up the stairs.

This will take you back to the top track which will take you to the lake exit on Great North Road. Once you reach the exit (there is a drinking fountain here if you need), turn back and run back along the track which is to the right of the top track you just exited from. This is the middle track, run this until you exit again on Great North Road.

Once here turn left and left again so you run along the lake edge (bottom track) and continue on this track around the lake again. Once you have completed the bottom loop, run back via the top track and instead of exiting the lake via the gate you came in, continue straight ahead and you will exit the lake by the Bird Aviary and kids playground area, where your car is parked.

Wildlife (mostly ducks and swans)

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Carpark on Babbage Place by Bird Aviary

3 km

7 minutes




Just keep following a track as eventually it will exit on a road.

Perfect throughout.

Windproof jacket, Cellphone

Drinking foundation at gate (don't drink lake water!)

Can get a little muddy after rain and cold in the shade in winter, but you will be running faster enough to keep yourself warm!

Fucky Duck Cafe
Virginia Lake Reserve, 110 Great North Road
Great coffee and food. Small playground outback for young children.

Trail Legend

Karl Zimmerman

Karl Zimmerman

has completed Lap The Lake twice in the last year.

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Trail Reviews

I included as part of a 12 km run. No lights around the Lake In the dark

Karl Zimmerman

June 30, 2021

awesome lake to just loop multiple times, water fountain and cafe there if you get hungry, did the lake section 11 times on one of my 2 hour runs.

james Bryant Bland

December 1, 2019

Although I didn't go up the road first before doing the lake...I did loop the lake 5 times - using this guide, I went clockwise around from the aviary to the small rotunda on the jetty on the opposite side (photo taken from here) and then back round anti-clockwise to the aviary via the 'geese/duck feeding area'. Then I did that once more, and then again to the rotunda jetty before turning left and heading down into the main street of Wanganui. Thanks Melissa for the inspiration. A really nice run on a fine Wanganui morning.

Conon Ford

September 17, 2017

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