Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023


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Waihora to Waihaha

Taupo, Waikato

Submitted by Richard Murphy

Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023


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I've done it Done


Grunt Factor: 42 ?

Gnarl Factor: 64 ?








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Trail Map

Type of Run

Back country - remote

Point to Point (one way)

Undulating, small hills only

Native bush

Run Makeup


Easy Single Track

Moderate Single Track

Untracked / Route only

Average Uphill Gradient: +5.9%

Average Downhill Gradient: -7.5%


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Estimated Times to Run

Not suitable






Starting from the car park at Waihora Lagoon, you have a gentle climb for 3-4 km on an obvious track until you meet the 3Ws junction; these being Waihora, Waihaha and Weraroa. At this point you follow the Hauhungaroa track south until the Waihaha Hut. A clear track is not visible through this 8km section and you need to take care to follow the DoC track markers. After Waihaha Hut there is 9km to the road on a track which has been recently been upgraded for mountain biking, and easy to follow.

One of New Zealand’s most significant conservation battles took place in this area. The protest led to the end of native forest logging in the Pureora park, where many huge rimu, totara, kahikatea and kamahi survive.

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The road to Waihora Lagoon is gravel with some significant potholes, 4WD should be used to get to the car park. The location is quite isolated with mainly Hunters and occasional families doing the short lagoon walk.

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Between the 3Ws junction and Waihaha Hut you must take care to follow DoC markers.

Very patchy.

Long-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Beanie/thermal headwear, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Survival blanket, Cellphone, Map

The Waihaha Hut has water collected from rain

Could get very wet in sections during Winter, particularly the 1st 3-4km. Potential for snow as well.

There is a small stream crossing and 2 steep climbs with matching descents.

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Trail Reviews

December 2023 - We went through as part of Hauhangaroa traverse. as stated in the description the 8km section between Waihora and Waihaha needs alot of attention to trail markers. there is alot of tree windfall and non existent markers that can easily lead you well off track, i highly recommend you have topo maps on your phone to save you from getting lost when there are no markers due to windfall, it saved us a few times! there are some lovely little runnable parts and then are some that steep and gnarly (especailly the decsent and acsent at Mangatu stream), such a beautiful ancient forest, huge rimu and native trees standing tall with moss and goblin forest as far as the eye can see. you will want to allow 3-4 hours to get through this section if your a mid pack runner and depending on your nav skills too.
Waihaha track out is an easy to follow track which is all runnable, sometimes it can be a bit overgrowen with toi toi and long grass in the parts which get heaps of sun. take sunscreen as there are exposed parts and scrub type bush for a few kms on Waihaha track.

Linda Downes

December 29

What a hidden little gem this is.
I ran from the 'end' (Western Bay Road) through to the Waihaha Hut and back. Start of track is a little hidden, and it doesn't look like much more than a single MTB track through the grass. But it soon opens up into shrubland, and then gets you into some wonderful podocarp trees of the Pureora Forest. Lots of crystal clear water in the streams when I went through.

Natalie Ganley

April 2, 2023

A run of two halves - first few kms are easy to follow 4wd track, quite muddy and slippery but easy enough. Next 8kms are the challenging bit, quite overgrown with lots of down trees and down trail markers. It’s easy to get off the trail so quite slow in this part to make sure you’re still on the track. Elevation isn’t major but there are a few very steep deserts and climbs and a couple of stream crossings. After a bit of bush bashing you’ll reach the hut and the trail is pretty pristine after this and a glorious 9kms (mostly downhill) to the road.

Would definitely plan on a minimum of 4 hrs to complete.

Worth a visit to the lagoon at the start, only 600m down the lagoon on a lovely trail before you start.

Another option if you wanted a pure run would be to start at the end and run an out and back to the hut which would be 18kms.

Awesome bit of forest, heaps of native birds and massive trees!

Laura Crossan

August 16, 2021

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