Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023


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Kauaerangi Small Trails Tour

Thames, Waikato

Submitted by Kirstine Collins

Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023


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I've done it Done


Grunt Factor: 13

Gnarl Factor: 42








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Trail Map

Type of Run

Front country - easily accessible


Undulating, some big hills

Native bush


Run Makeup


Gravel Road

Easy Single Track

Moderate Single Track

Technical Single Track

Average Uphill Gradient: +6.6%

Average Downhill Gradient: -7.2%


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Estimated Times to Run







From the carpark follow the road SE for 300m to a small carpark and track signpost. At the southern end go through the Kauri washpoint and down the trail to the river. Cross the river and turn right at the junction.

At the next junction turn left heading to Tarawaere Dam loop. The trail undulates through the bush with a stream crossing. After 600m there is another junction where you turn left. Now the big climb of the trail starts up a steep, rough, but well established track. Occasionally you will get nice views down Kauaerangi Valley which is a nice excuse to catch your breath.

At the top is a junction - turn right to descend steeply to Taraere Dam. From the dam you follow the rough trail down the Tarawaere Stream, crossing multiple times. At the junction continue straight returning near the river.

At the next junction turn left onto Catleys Track. There is a nice section, a stream crossing and then there is a section where the track has been washed away by the river. Rock hop beside the river for a couple of hundred meters. The trail then moves away from the river and turns into a beautiful smooth flowing singletrack through the bush. There are a few small stream crossings.

The trail comes out at the river and you cross, heading for the large orange triangle on the other side. Now it is a short stretch on an old vehicle track to Catleys Campsite. Head across the campsite to the eastern edge and a pink triangle will indicate the start of Booms Trail, a lovely gravel trail which heads to the river.

At the river turn around and return to Catleys Campsite. Now turn right up the gravel road for 400m to a bridge. Just after the bridge turn left and head up the gravel road. At the junction turn left onto Murrays Walk.

At the gate follow the walking sign left again on to the wide gravel trail. This turns onto a winding raised boardwalk through the trees. At the end of the loop head back down the hill to the main road. Turn left and follow the gravel road 1.2km back to the carpark.

On Tarawaere Stream is the remnants of a rafter flume dam used to bring Kauri logs down the mountain

Large carpark with toilets and rubbish bin

20 km

34 minutes





Short-sleeved thermal top, Windproof jacket, Personal Locator Beacon (PLB), Whistle, First aid kit, Survival bag, Headtorch and spare batteries.

Frequent streams for the first 6km

The Kauaerangi River is crossed twice and there are several other stream crossings which may be unpassable after heavy rain.

The rocks in Tarawaere Stream are very slippery

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