Last Updated: 6th Apr 2024

Intermediate - Experienced

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I've done it Done

Kaimai Summit to Wairere Falls

Matamata, Waikato

Submitted by Linda Downes

Last Updated: 6th Apr 2024

Intermediate - Experienced

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I've done it Done


Grunt Factor: 49 ?

Gnarl Factor: 45 ?








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Trail Map

Type of Run

Back country - remote

Point to Point (one way)

Undulating, some big hills

With permit

Native bush

Plantation/exotic forest

Open ridges/tops

Run Makeup


Moderate Single Track

Technical Single Track

Average Uphill Gradient: +4.5%

Average Downhill Gradient: -6.5%


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Estimated Times to Run

Not suitable






NB Dogs allowed by doc permit only.

Starting at SH29 car park there is a DoC sign that is the Southern entrance/exit to the North South tramping track. You will be following this track right up untill untill Wairere Falls turnoff. Following the orange triangles at all times. Watch your step - track can be narrow in places. You will come across across fallen trees, cutty grass, mud, tree roots and the track can be overgrown in places. This is a experienced tramping track. There are a few 'scramble' parts with some uphills being tree rooty and a bit steep. It is mostly undulating however.

Hurunui Hut is around 8.5km in and to your left, very basic hut. Next hut is newly built hut where Ngamuwahine shelter was. Nice hut, has a toliet and nice facilties. Expect to see this15km into your adventure. Only 2km onward and a steady climb from there you will reach Te Tuhi Junction. At approx 22km you will reach Wairere track, keep heading north (check the sign post and make sure your heading north and toward Wairere Falls).

You will get to another sign around 1km later - turn left to get to Wairere Falls. Soak up the view of the Waikato plains at the edge of the waterfall while you're there, slightly back-track and turn right at the sign that takes you down to Goodwin Road. This is a busy track with lots of families hiking up to the waterfall. The descent to the bottom is a bit of thigh basher, but fun and completely different to the North South track. It has lots of boulders to and steps - and people!

Wairere car park has been recently upgraded and there is plenty of car parking!

Note: this can be run in the opposite direction too

Wairere Waterfall 

Enough parking for 10+ cars

19 km

16 minutes

With Permit



There are other tracks that junction onto North South track. Make sure you follow North.
Keep following and pay attention to the orange triangles, if you haven't seen for a while please backtrack until you find it and carry on.

Very patchy.

Short-sleeved thermal top, Long-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Personal Locator Beacon (PLB), Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Survival bag, Cellphone, Compass, Map, Gaiters

Plenty of streams, a couple of rivers, The new hut has water as well

Mud after rain, rivers could be a bit dodgy to pass after heavy rain,

Mud, tree roots, Fallen trees, overgrown in places

Trail Legend


Philip Browne

has completed Kaimai Summit to Wairere Falls once in the last year.

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Trail Reviews

Highly recommend this one! Summer time was good, bit of mud but nothing major and a few river crossings. Can imagine in the winter it might be quite muddy in parts. Track is mostly easy to follow but not very worn in parts to keep your eye on the markers. A couple of steeper ups but short and sweet.

Juliet Iremonger

December 29, 2021

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Overlapping Trails

These overlap with this trail to some degree. You may wish to combine them but please note that to qualify for FKTs on these runs you should record a separate activity for each.

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