Last Updated: 29th Apr 2024

Beginner - Intermediate

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I've done it Done

Maungatautari Sanctuary Mountain

Putaruru, Waikato

Submitted by Lance Knauf

Last Updated: 29th Apr 2024

Beginner - Intermediate

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I've done it Done

Open

Grunt Factor: 20 ?

Gnarl Factor: 13 ?

15.0km

795m

795m

797m

  

  

  

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Trail Map

Type of Run

Front country - easily accessible

Out and Back

Undulating, some big hills

Native bush

Run Makeup

100%

Farm Road / 4WD Track

Average Uphill Gradient: +12.7%

Average Downhill Gradient: -12.7%

Trailhead

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Estimated Times to Run

3:00

Slow

1:45

Moderate

1:15

Fast

The original track which heads over the three peaks of Maungatautari, Pukeatua and Rocky outcrop is accessed at the same location in the north and south of the mountain but is much steeper and more technical (good luck running). The Wairere Traverse track opened in 2016 is much better suited for running with a well formed gravel/forest quad bike track. I chose to do a out and back along the Wairere Traverse but this could easily be turned into a loop taking the old track back down the to the visitor centre (this will take longer due to technicality).

From the carpark head towards the visitors centre where signs point towards "Over the Mountain Tracks" - follow these, pass through the fences and you are on your way. The track starts following the border of the southern enclosure where signs indicate where to turn off following a well formed track through the forest.

After about 2km the old track over the peaks splits off. The Wairere Traverse continues to wind its way up the mountain staying on the western side of the peaks undulating and curving its way up to the peak of Maungatautari. The track intersects with the old over the mountain track about 5 mins north of the Maungatautari Peak, follow the board walk to the top. If you are completing an out and back return the same way you came, or if you are doing a loop continue towards the south from Maungatautari peak where the track follows the ridgeline back towards the visitors centre. The peaks of Pukeatua and Rocky outcrop provide much better viewing opportunities of the area. If entering from the north a slightly different approach has to be taken but you can still make a good challenging out and back or loop.

Make the most of the flats and down hill sections to stretch the legs as the uphills can be steep. The undulating nature of the track makes it possible to run most if not all the track while providing a good challenge. Don't expect to have great views as the trail has limited viewing opportunities but the beauty is winding your way through the native bush (no photos but trust me). This is a track where the Kereru count outweighs the people count 4 to 1 adding something special to the hard training.

This trail includes the peak Maungatautari.

The mountain itself is a feature of interest with it being the largest mainland predator proofed area in the country. Within the peripheral fence are two further enclosures at the north and south of the mountain. The southern enclosure is the more recognised, with short walks and information about the native plants and great bird viewing opportunities. Highly recommended to have a look around even if you don't want to tackle the mountain.

If you know of any public toilets near the trail start or on the route, please login and then let us know so we can update this section.

The visitors centre delivers great information about the sanctuary and provides excellent car parking and toilet facilities. Cameras are installed overlooking the carpark. The cleanest long drops you have ever seen are also here at the start of the track.

26 km

25 minutes

No

No

Easy.

Generally good.

Lightweight fleece top, Long-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Windproof jacket, Gloves, Beanie/thermal headwear, Personal Locator Beacon (PLB), Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Survival bag, Survival blanket, Cellphone, Map

Water is available at the visitors centre at the southern entrance to the mountain.

The track is through trees. Undergrowth therefore is damp year around. The old over the mountain track is at greater risk being especially muddy and slippery after heavy rains.

On the old track-slippery rocks and tree routes year round.

Trail Legend

Matthew Scrafton

Matthew Scrafton

has completed Maungatautari Sanctuary Mountain 3 times in the last year.

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Trail Reviews

Beautiful native bush and birdsong to spur you up the steep bits! The trail is very high quality, and 100% runnable. A super fun, fast descent back to the car park. Shame there isn’t a view at the summit of the mountain.

Tom Brennan

June 5, 2022

Really neat track through the bush. Lots of uphill, some steep. I couldn't run it all but I tried! Heaps of birds. Some I'd never heard before. Hardly any people which surprised me for such a neat track. A hidden gem maybe?

Juliet Iremonger

September 26, 2020

I did this as a loop on the Over The Mountain track, before heading back on the Wairere track that this is plotted on.As Lance says, good luck running the OTM - it was very slow progress with lots of climbing up and down. I would stay away from it unless you have plenty of time and energy, and good safety support. That said, it was an amazing experience and highly enjoyable.By comparison the Wairere track is quite easy running, with just a bit of up and down. Doing this as a straight out-and-back with the summit climb in the middle is a worthwhile run, although not one I would go significantly out of my way to do. Although if the Hicks Road entrance reopens then I could be enticed back to do a point-to-point version all the way through the park!

Jonathan Drake

January 30, 2020

Such a runnable track - if you're a good hill runner! Thoroughly enjoyable morning out, though I walked up most of the leg burning hills. We made it almost all the way to the far road, so in total 20km, and also did the side tracks up to the peak, and also the Rocky Outcrop. An ice cream at the visitors centre at the end of your run is a well deserved treat.

Jayne Tankersley

January 25, 2020

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