Wild Things - New Zealand's trail running community
New Zealand's trail running community


don't have an account?

Maungatautari Sanctuary Mountain, Waikato

Trail Directory proudly supported by Further Faster

Update Your Header Picture

Maungatautari Sanctuary MountainBeginner - Intermediate

Submitted by Lance Knauf

Info Info
Map Loading

Trail Information







Front country - easily accessible

Out and Back

Undulating, some big hills

Native bush

Beginner - Intermediate

3:00 (Slow)
1:45 (Moderate)
1:15 (Fast)



Download PDF Guide
View trail on Capra App

Fastest Known Times (FKTs)

Please set your gender to see your position on the FKT leaderboards.


Show more


Show more

Filter FKTs

The more , the harder the FKT will be to beat. Learn about Fastest Known Times.

Missing your time?

Register or login as a VIP and get yourself on the FKT leaderboard!

Register Now


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.

Trail Community

Find people who are interested in this run.

You must register or login to view this content.

Features of interest

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.

Make Up of Run

Farm Road / 4WD Track: 100%

Route Data


You must register or login to view this content.

Overlapping Runs

The following trails overlap with this run 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 Strava activity for each

Maungatautari Mission

Maungatautari Mission

Length: 13.00km

Maungatautari crazy 8

Maungatautari crazy 8

Length: 14.00km


You must register or login to view this content.

Your Trail Wishlist

All the runs that are on your To Do list (no limit).

Add to wishlist view wishlist

Your Trail Dreamlist

The runs you most want to do (limited to 10).

Add to dreamlist view dreamlist

Wild Explorers

I did it!
  • Access

    The southern entrance into Maungatautari is located at the end of Tari Road which lies halfway between Putaruru and Te Awamutu (25 mins) along Arapuni Road. Tari Road intersects Arapuni road in the small township of Pukeatua. Head to the end of the Tari road (~1km) to the visitors centre and follow signs for "Over the Mountain Track". This entrance is the main entrance for the wildlife sanctuary so is well signposted. The track can also be accessed from the north of the mountain at the end of Hicks Road. This northern entrance is 19 mins away from Cambridge so would be a better option for those travelling from this direction.

    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



  • Staying Safe


    Make navigation of this route super-easy by using the Capra app on your phone. View on Capra .

    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.

  • Blog Posts and Articles
  • Sponsor this trail

    If you are interested in learning about sponsorship opportunities, please get in touch below:


Got a favourite trail? Tell us about it.

Share the love and add your favourite trail(s) to our growing trail directory.

Submit A Trail

Become a member today

Start enjoying the many benefits to becoming a member of our thriving community.

Become a member

Great brands at great prices with our VIP member's discount

Stay up to date

Sign up to our newsletter for latest offers and trail guides

Share this trail with a friend:

VIP Membership

Please register as a VIP or login to your VIP account to view this content.

Cancel Login Register

Membership Required

You can see up to three trail guides without being logged in but after that we require you to be logged in to your Free or VIP account. If you don’t yet have an account you can register here.

Login Register