Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023


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Lake Dive Circuit

Stratford, Taranaki

Submitted by Malcolm Law

Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023


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I've done it Done


Grunt Factor: 29 ?

Gnarl Factor: 78 ?








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Trail Map

Type of Run

Front country - easily accessible


Very hilly

Native bush

Open tussock/grasslands


Run Makeup


Easy Single Track

Moderate Single Track

Technical Single Track

Untracked / Route only

Average Uphill Gradient: +15.3%

Average Downhill Gradient: -15.8%


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Estimated Times to Run







From the car park take the Fanthams Peak Track. It soon starts heading uphill and before long you'll turn left off it, following the signpost to Lake Dive Hut.
The going is about to get rough and a sign early on warns that "sections of this track may be eroded. Expect steep & slippery terrain in places. Navigation may be difficult"... they're not kidding! It's an adventure as you follow what's left of the track, cutting across the grain of the land in and out of creek beds, but it's fun just so long as you're not in a big hurry.

Eventually you'll reach Lake Dive Hut and from there start heading uphill in a relentless climb that will bring you to the high level round-the-mountain track. Turn right. You're now in open tussock country, following rough trail on a poled route. Staying on track in low visibility requires care. After some 1.5k you'll reach another junction with Fanthams Peak Track - turn right and head downhill on a long series of boardwalk/steps. This is a great downhill run all the way back to the car park.

A classic circuit that takes in beautiful native forest, open tussock lands on the flanks of the mighty Taranaki and the challengingly steep terrain that links them together.

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Dawson Falls is well signposted from Stratford

23 km

24 minutes




Well signposted, but the high, open section requires careful route-finding in bad weather as the poles marking the route are quite well spaced.


Lightweight fleece top, 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 blanket, Cellphone, Compass, Map, Headtorch and spare batteries

Plenty of stream water available most of the year round and tank water available at Dive Lake Hut

Can be very muddy after rain and snow/ice commonplace through late autumn - winter - early spring

Taranaki is a killer and even on the lower slopes it can be treacherous in bad weather. Always go prepared with lots of spare gear!

Trail Legend


Brenda Szabo

has completed Lake Dive Circuit twice in the last year.

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