Great Lake Trail - Waihaha SectionBeginner
Submitted by Richard Murphy
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Front country - easily accessible
Point to Point (one way)
Undulating, small hills only
Native bushRiversideLakesideOpen ridges/tops
The track is designed for mountain biking so is a generally flat surface in good condition. In the final 5 or so kilometres you can come across some short muddy sections.
Fastest Known Times (FKTs)
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This is a beautiful track that does not pose too many challenges through the surface or undulations. As it is intended for mountain bikers the climbs are gentle and include many switchbacks. After the Waihaha waterfall look out at 7km and there are toilets and vehicle access at approx 12km. After this access point the trail twists and turns its way through bush occasionally popping out on a bluff over the lake edge. The track is very clearly marked. The lake and mountain views are spectacular and there is always a seat to rest on! Except for when you on a bluff you are mostly under tree cover.
Features of interest
The track initially follows a stream
Make Up of Run
Untracked / Route only: 0%
Technical Single Track: 0%
Moderate Single Track: 0%
Easy Single Track: 100%
Farm Road / 4WD Track: 0%
Gravel Road: 0%
Sealed Road: 0%
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
Starts at the same car park as the 100km Taupo Ultra. From Taupo, drive 57km (around 40 mins) to the Waihaha River Bridge on the Western Bays Road (State Highway 32). If you are coming from Kinloch, the bridge is 37kms (around 30 mins) away. The Waihaha Track starts from the car park at the eastern side of the bridge.
Parking is remote but quite safe, I did this as a point to point run as a group. We got dropped off at the start point after leaving vehicles in Kinloch and then at the finish used a water taxi to get back to our cars. The finish point is only accessible by water taxi - or you could run back out!
Follow the track
Long-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Beanie/thermal headwear, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Survival bag, Cellphone, Map.
Carry your own water
The final 5km has patches of mud. Boardwalks/bridges are common towards the end which would be very slippery when wet. Make sure you carry sufficient water and warm clothes as you are isolated and the temperatures can drop and be very low.
In the past there have been some slips on the track however, a maintenance crew regularly maintains the condition and water taxi staff would have update information.
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See other runs nearby:
Taupo to Huka Falls Loop
Huka Falls to Aratiatia Dam Loop
Waihaha Trail - Out & Back
Orahau To Kinloch
Taupo Redwoods Track
Waihora to Waihaha
Te Iringa Track
SH1 Leg Stretcher
Great Lake Trail Loop