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Lake Hauroko Lookout Trail, Southland

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Lake Hauroko Lookout TrailIntermediate - Experienced

Submitted by Mike Tennent

Info Info
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Trail Information







Back country - remote

Out and Back

Undulating, some big hills

Native bush
Open tussock/grasslands
Open ridges/tops

Intermediate - Experienced

2:30 (Slow)
1:50 (Moderate)
1:00 (Fast)



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Outwardly if you look at the figures, this just looks like a moderately hard and reasonably short trail. However when you look at the profile you will see that virtually all of the 400+ metres climb is done in a mere 1.5km!

The trail starts off at lake level with some nice running, a bit rooty so take care and watch your step. There are very regular orange triangles so there is nowhere you should get lost. There are a couple of technical mini creek crossings and then the climb starts. It lulls you in, at first climbing steadily and then gets serious, to where you are looking for handholds, and where you are going to put the next foot.

As you get up towards the top there are several spurs away from the trail out to lookout points. Take care on these, a couple are quite dodgy. However the best for photos and views is not the one at the very top, but the one preceding that... which is where my pano shot was taken.

Then once you have reached the top, iat down to contemplate the world and all who live in it (after pausing your Garmin), you get to go back down... and believe me, in parts that is more difficult than climbing up... but if you take your time and choose your footing well, in no time you will enjoy some nice running to finish the day.

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Features of interest

Stunning views & the splendour of isolation!

Make Up of Run

Untracked / Route only: 20%

Technical Single Track: 40%

Moderate Single Track: 20%

Easy Single Track: 20%

Farm Road / 4WD Track: 0%

Gravel Road: 0%

Sealed Road: 0%

Route Data


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Wild Explorers

I did it!
  • Access

    Leave Tuatapere following the road to Manapouri watching out for a large sign just past the Tuatapere Gold Club, indicating Lake Hauroko, turn left in 400m... which you should do. Then follow the road, only one major fork in the road and the way to go is clearly signposted. Once you hit the gravel road (yes, there are 20kms of gravel), follow the road until the very end and you are there.

    Plenty of parking at the end of the road, normal well looked after DOC carpark... we are so lucky. No public transport as far as I know. There is a DOC campground at the start of the bush about 6 or 7km from the Lake.

    45 km

    71 minutes



  • Staying Safe


    There is nearly always an orange triangle visible... you shouldn't be able to go wrong, there are no cross trails, it is the only one.


    Long-sleeved thermal top, Windproof jacket, Gloves, Beanie/thermal headwear, Personal Locator Beacon (PLB), Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Survival bag, Cellphone, Map, Crampons / microspikes (for winter conditions).

    There are a few opportunities to get water from streams or the lake... but at only 5.7km you shouldn't need to.

    There had been very recent rain and in some places the trail had puddled and in others it was muddy. I would imagine it could be difficult in winter.

    The climbs both up and down are potentially dangerous. Do not take them lightly, treat them with respect.

  • Post run indulgence

    Highway 99 Cafe
    Main Road, Tuatapere
    Nice food, good drinks (alcohol if you want it), motel and motor camp next door are part of the same company... so you can eat drink and stay!

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