Last Updated: 17th Jan 2024


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Maungatautari crazy 8

Cambridge, Waikato

Submitted by Emma

Last Updated: 17th Jan 2024


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Grunt Factor: 28 ?

Gnarl Factor: 53 ?








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Trail Map

Type of Run

Front country - easily accessible


Very hilly

Native bush

Open farmlands

Run Makeup


Farm Road / 4WD Track

Easy Single Track

Technical Single Track

Average Uphill Gradient: +15.9%

Average Downhill Gradient: -15.0%


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Estimated Times to Run







This is a loop heading up the old Over The Mountain (OTM) track to Maungatautari summit, Pukeatua peak, and returns on the new track.
From the car park, head up the farm track and through two paddocks, aim for the enclosure gate on the right side. Enter and take the wide gravel track that follows the fence line. On the right in 700m take Te Raki track, this will lead you into the bush and to the summit (2km). Continue south along Te Tonga track, this is another 2km of technical track, which can be slow going. After a short detour to Pukeatua peak continue briefly south. The track descents quickly before reaching a disjointed intersection. Pick Wairere Traverse (new track) and head north for a quicker return. The track loops up just before the northern enclosure gate. Continue down the farm and to your car.

This trail includes the peaks Maungatautari and Pukeatua.

Maungatautari, also known as Sanctuary Mountain is home to an array of endangered species. A predator proof fence surrounding the mountain makes for a ecological island for endangered birds, frogs, geckos and bats.

Parking is located 500m before the road end outside the local Marae. There are 2 public toilets at this spot and numerous car parking spots.

18 km

18 minutes




Keep an eye out around Pukeatua peak as the track is not super clear here.


Long-sleeved thermal top, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Cellphone, Map

Pack your own.

During winter it gets dark on the mountain early, pack a headlamp if you are heading out later in the day.

11 Empire St, Cambridge
A great little spot for coffee and bunch.

46 Victoria St, Cambridge
They have bagels.

Trail Legend

Tim Purchase

Tim Purchase

has completed Maungatautari crazy 8 twice in the last year.

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Trail Reviews

I misinterpretted the description and though there was only one enclosure gate so after heading right along the fence I took the only gate I could see. It turns out there are actually two gates with the right one initially hidden a further 20 metres over. No big deal I just got to do a bonus 1km loop for warm up from the other gate.

Lovely technical bush trails and bird song to accompany. Great terrain for hill training and getting in some vert!

Angela Hewlett

September 11, 2023

A cool trail, although I didn’t read the “make up” of run and was a bit surprised that the whole run home was on non-technical wide gravel track. But the way up inside was super awesome - cool technical trail hiking up into the mist, and some ridge line running, and lots of birds. Was fun! Was glad for tights as there were some sections of thorny bushes. Bog pulled one of my shoes right off as I did a big lunge up - had to get my mate behind/below me to rescue it. 😂. For timing reference, we were about 1hr45 up, but only 1hr back down the easier trail.

Kerri Dewe

July 19, 2023

This is a great wee run with a bit of elevation and some quite gnarly bits with lots of roots, vines, rocks and mud on the Over The Mountain part of the loop. As the Northern entrance to the sanctuary is closed, I did it from the Southern side starting at the visitor centre... following Te Tonga track to the rocky outcrop and then to the summit of Maungatautari, then dropping down to the newer Wairere walking track and following this back to the car park. 18k in total. It can be really muddy and slippy underfoot in the wet, but the canopy provides great shelter from the sun on a hot day!

Rachel Purcell

January 19, 2020

Hi Just a note that due to the Northern enclosure being closed, the Tramping track on northern side is falling into disrepair, this and very little use makes it tricky to navigate.

Glen Brownlee

November 18, 2019

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