Te Waihou WalkwayBeginner
Submitted by Julene Veart
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Front country - easily accessible
Out and Back
Undulating, small hills only
Native bushRiversideOpen farmlandsOther
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I think, because of the varying terrain underfoot - open farm trail, gravel, boardwalk, bush, stairs and the odd stile or two, it's an excellent and easy trail for beginners and probably an easy flat out blast to stretch out the legs for more experienced Wild Things. The course follows the pristine waters flowing out of the the Blue Springs and there are many opportunities to pause and take a photo or read the information boards along the trail. Don't be tempted to swim though. This is now banned due to its effect on the water quality. 75% of NZ's bottled spring water comes from this spring.
Features of interest
Trail follows the river up to the Blue Springs so there are views of crystal clear water all the way, waterfalls, birdsong, bush cover. I even spied a small trout making it's way up stream ... and of course the obligatory pukekos and ducks. Awesome water source at the Springs (the turn around point).
Make Up of Run
Easy Single Track: 50%
Farm Road / 4WD Track: 30%
Gravel Road: 20%
From Putaruru heading towards Tirau, take Whites Road (approx 3km on SH1 from Putaruru), after about 3km on Whites Road you'll see the gravel car park on the right hand side, along with toilets and picnic tables. There is another carpark at the near end of the Blue Springs, if you continue up Whites Road to Leslie Road, the carpark is about 3.6km along the road.
No public transport, but excellent parking at the Whites Road carpark. Easy, well signed walk down to the start of the trail.
This course is very well signposted and easy to follow but that river is so beautiful you might want to deliberately get yourself "lost".
Windproof jacket, Cellphone.
Best water I've had anywhere. The water from the spring flows out at 11 deg in all seasons, and has taken 50-100 years to make its way out. Have a drink from the water fountain at the spring (turn around point) and make sure you have an empty water bottle to take back with you for the road trip home.
Could get muddy in places in winter, and due to the proximity to the river may be susceptible to flooding.
Farm animals, electric fences and the rare tree root. This is a very safe track.
Post run indulgence
I've had a late lunch a Poppy's a few times on my way through. I only have good memories from those visits.
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