Last Updated: 26th May 2024

Intermediate - Experienced

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Te Aroha Killer Loop

Te Aroha, Waikato

Submitted by David Clark

Last Updated: 26th May 2024

Intermediate - Experienced

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I've done it Done

Notice More info

Grunt Factor: 69 ?

Gnarl Factor: 59 ?








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Trail Map

Type of Run

Front country - easily accessible


Very hilly

Native bush

Run Makeup


Gravel Road

Easy Single Track

Moderate Single Track

Technical Single Track

Average Uphill Gradient: +11.5%

Average Downhill Gradient: -9.7%


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Estimated Times to Run

Not suitable






This is a loop run from Te Aroha Domain. Start near the cute Mokena Geyser in Te Aroha Domain, and head up the Te Aroha Summit Track all the way to the fabulous summit. After catching your breath and taking some photos, travel along the Dog Kennel Flat Track until you connect with Waipapa Track. Follow this mostly runnable gently descending track through to Waitewheta Hut. From here, the Waitewheta Tramway Track follows a very good path (albeit on cobbled stones) of the ancient mine and logging tramway, with various historical features to see. Multiple swing bridges and awesome river and cliff views. Turn left onto Dalys Clearing Track and run past the hut to meet the Mangakino Pack Track. Follow this track along the east side of the Mangakino river valley, crossing multiple small tributary streams. Connect to the Tui Mine Track and descend down to join Tui Domain Track and return to your starting point.

This trail includes the peaks Te Aroha and Pukekohatu.

Mt Te Aroha, old mines, old tramway, suspension bridges, rivers, waterfalls, geyser

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Good parking at the Te Aroha Domain

1 km

3 minutes




Very patchy.

Long-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Gloves, Beanie/thermal headwear, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Survival bag, Cellphone, Map, Headtorch and spare batteries

Many rivers. Two huts on the route with water.

Mt Te Aroha is very exposed and can be cold in bad weather.

Ironique Cafe
Te Aroha
Excellent Cafe

Trail Legend


Lucy Mills

has completed Te Aroha Killer Loop once in the last year.

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Trail Reviews

A fantastic and challenging route! Track was in surprisingly good condition after recent cyclone Hale. The Mangakino Pack track was better than I expected and there were some decent runnable sections although erosion has made for a few gnarly drop offs. I met the Doc Ranger Warren at Waitawheta hut - he has been building and maintaining tracks in the Kaimais for 54 years! Great scenery makes it worth your effort.

Claudia Kelly

January 17, 2023

A good mix of technical uphill/downhill and runnable sections. Trail is in fair condition after all the recent rain but some slips and fallen logs (with trail markers) make it hard to navigate at times

Sarah Bauer

August 28, 2022

Great along the first few sections, especially the Waitawheta Track. Same as the other reviews, the Mangakino Pack Track is slow going as the track mostly is tree roots around some cobble sized rocks.

Worth noting that the first bridge on the Waipapa Track, heading to Waitawheta Hut, is currently out due to tree fall. You can scramble into the gully back up the track a bit, and them climb out the other side. The Waitawheta Hut webpage has an Alert for this.

Jordan Crase

February 13, 2021

Good adventure. The trail up Te Aroha, down to Waitewheta and to Daly’s Clearing is all pretty good. Some lovely scenery and many swing bridges to cross. Mangapiko pack track was not as bad as I expected. It was slow going from from 23km - 30km. Expect to hike that part. I don’t like heights much and have to admit a few times I was hugging the hill. I’m also not great with navigation but managed okay the entire way through here. I guess the fallen trees have now been cleared as they really weren’t bad to pass. Then the Tui track down is a welcome run after the slow going along Mangapiko. I enjoyed it but would maybe do it as a big long hiking day rather than running next time.

Jane McAlpine

January 10, 2021

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