Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023


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Maunganui Bluff Mayhem

Dargaville, Northland

Submitted by Paul Barnes

Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023


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I've done it Done


Grunt Factor: 44 ?

Gnarl Factor: 86 ?








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Trail Map

Type of Run

Front country - easily accessible

Out and Back

Very hilly

Native bush

Open farmlands

Open tussock/grasslands

Open ridges/tops

Run Makeup


Farm Road / 4WD Track

Moderate Single Track

Technical Single Track

Untracked / Route only

Average Uphill Gradient: +16.7%

Average Downhill Gradient: -16.8%


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Estimated Times to Run







Take the Bluff Track from the car park which climbs gently at first, sidling around bluffs for a kilometre to a stream, then turning very steep for a few hundred metres with some stepped sections, leading into the forest. After 2km follow the track upwards next to farmland until reaching the aerial and follow the old 4WD access road to Bluff summit and stop to admire the views.

Take the track to Waikara Beach near the summit (signposted), leading downwards, very technical and steep in places. From the low point next to farmland continue following the track markers up the next hill for a kilometre until entering the forest again. If the grass is long then it can be ankle-twistingly uneven ground. The track continues gradually downwards on the open ridge tops until dropping very steeply to farmland where you can follow the cattle trails to the beach. Return the same way. Much of the last few km is barely tracked so follow the markers!

This trail includes the peak Maunganui.

Old WW2 radar station at summit, gobsmacking views up and down the coast including Hokianga Harbour, Kai Iwi Lakes & Pouto Point on a clear day; native flora and fauna, wild pigs.

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Park next to the DOC sign on the right near the end of the village. Parking is fairly safe as is visible from road and houses.

43 km

39 minutes




Difficult to go wrong as long as you watch for the signs and follow the markers.


Lightweight fleece top, Long-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Beanie/thermal headwear, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Survival blanket, Cellphone, Map

No drinkable water on route.

Some swampy parts in winter or after rain. Be careful on open ridge tops in strong winds.

Uneven ground, steep dropoffs.

Kaihu Pub
Only pub around.

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Trail Reviews

Beautiful views of Northland West Coast. Possibly the hilliest trail I've ran. Of the total 17ish kms there is barely any flat ground, just punishing uphills and steep downhills. Once your down the hill from Maunganui Bluff there I'd little to no track maintenance so be prepared for hard slog through waist high grass for the majority of the track to Waikare Beach. To make matters worse wait until the afternoon in the middle of summer like I did if your a true masochist. Stoked as to have this one ticked off

Pat Kalin

January 25, 2022

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