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Timber Trail, Waikato

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Timber TrailIntermediate

Submitted by Suzanne Roberts

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Trail Information






Back country - remote

Point to Point (one way)

Undulating, some big hills

Native bush
Plantation/exotic forest
Open farmlands
Open ridges/tops


Not Suitable (Slow)
10:00 (Moderate)
7:00 (Fast)



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Pureora to Piropiro: the trail starts at the entrance to the Pureora Forest Park which is situated 18km east of Benneydale and winds through the stunning Pikiariki Ecological Area before climbing Mount Pureora. The track then sidles around the mountain at 940 m above sea level, travelling across two large suspension bridges before heading down toward the mid point of the trail at Piropiro. The Northern Timber Trail is 40km long with the first 11km being a long gradual climb. Thereafter the track is generally downhill.

The Southern Trail: Piropiro to Ongarue - the trail winds very gently through lush green native forest to the incredible Maramataha Suspension Bridge. From the bridge to around the 47km mark is a steady climb and the only really tough section of the trail. From this point the trail trends downhill. At the 74km mark is the Ongarue Spiral, an incredible feat of engineering and hard work. The trail then winds through Forestry and Farm lands to the finishing point in Ongarue. Note - once on the trail there are no escape routes or cellphone coverage. You need to be prepared and ensure you bring enough water and food to last the day, and have suitable gear.

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Make Up of Run

Easy Single Track: 85%

Gravel Road: 15%

Route Data


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  • Access

    While the trail may be done in either direction, the topography will encourage most people to run from North to South i.e. from Pureora to Ongarue.

    There is a carpark at each end of the trail with toilets.

    68 km

    57 minutes



  • Staying Safe


    Hard to get lost - follow the markers!

    Very patchy.

    Lightweight fleece top, Short-sleeved thermal top, Long-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Gloves, Beanie/thermal headwear, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Survival blanket, Cellphone, Headtorch and spare batteries, Gaiters.

    There is only water at the lodge about half way or 40km mark

    Parts of the trail are muddy. This is a back country trail and can be extremely cold in winter. You need to be well prepared.

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