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Waipohatu Loop, Southland

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Waipohatu LoopBeginner - Intermediate

Submitted by Mike Tennent

Info Info
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Trail Information







Front country - easily accessible


Undulating, some big hills

Native bush

Beginner - Intermediate

1:20 (Slow)
1:00 (Moderate)
0:40 (Fast)



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The sign for the start of the trail is pretty obvious just past the carpark. From there there is only one trail and for the first 600m it is pristine gravel trail through lovely bush.

Then you come out on the forestry road. The waterfall trail is clearly signposted over the road - follow the grass track for a couple of hundred metres and then back into the bush. Now the trail is what you came for.... tree roots, a bit of mud, and some great running. You cruise along nicely climbing very gradually until at about 1.6km it all changes... and up you go!!!

About 100m vert in the next 1km, then it's ups and downs until about 2.3km and the sign for the waterfalls... head left down this trail. After a wee bit you come to a T intersection with orange triangles pointing both ways. Head left first and down to Waterfall #1. You can get wet feet and get pretty close if you're brave enough.

Grab some pics and head back up to the double triangles and head down the other branch to Waterfall #2. It's very different to the first waterfall but still impressive. Once you have your fill head back up to the top and turn left back on to the main trail, which undulates over rooty, technical terrain through more beautiful bush. With about 1.2km to go you get spat out onto a 4WD track - time to open up and bolt down the hill. The last little bit is fast and flat, then you are done!

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Features of interest

Wonderful virgin native bush, two very cool waterfalls.

Make Up of Run

Untracked / Route only: 0%

Technical Single Track: 12%

Moderate Single Track: 30%

Easy Single Track: 40%

Farm Road / 4WD Track: 18%

Gravel Road: 0%

Sealed Road: 0%

Route Data


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  • Access

    Find your way to the little town of Tokonui, turn into Tokonui Haldane Road and stay on it for about 10km. When you get to the end of the road turn left. After 1.5 to 2km you will see a sign to Walking Tracks, turn left there and head to the carpark.

    Generous size carpark.

    54 km

    50 minutes



  • Staying Safe


    Make navigation of this route super-easy by using the Capra app on your phone. View on Capra .

    Very patchy.

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

    Plenty of stream access through most of the run.

    Can be muddy after rain.

    Lots of steep ups and downs that require care, especially if it's wet.

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