Last Updated: 23rd Sep 2023


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Piraunui Track

Thames, Waikato

Submitted by Jo Burton

Last Updated: 23rd Sep 2023


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I've done it Done


Grunt Factor: 25 ?

Gnarl Factor: 40 ?








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Trail Map

Type of Run

Back country - remote

Out and Back

Undulating, small hills only

Dog Friendly

Native bush

Open farmlands

Run Makeup


Farm Road / 4WD Track

Easy Single Track

Moderate Single Track

Technical Single Track

Average Uphill Gradient: +9.0%

Average Downhill Gradient: -9.0%


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Estimated Times to Run







This is a well marked DOC track - just follow the orange markers. It is eell maintained apart from a short scrub section approx 0.5km long just before the end of the track. The track may be slippery and muddy following heavy rain. There's a river crossing at the bottom of the track to access the Kahikatea campgound (long drop loo) and the Kauaeranga visitor centre.

Don't be put off by the steep 20m decent from the carpark, that is literally the only steep part of the track.

You have a gentle 350m decent over 6.3km into the Kauaeranga Valley, no turns so easy to follow the route.

Then a gentle 350m ascent back to the carpark.

90% runable with a few technical ups and downs across streams which may be more tricky following heavy rain.

Native bush, Fantail accompaniment Waterfall/swimming hole approx 5 mins before end of track

If you know of any public toilets near the trail start or on the route, please login and then let us know so we can update this section.

Large parking area, don't park on the big H! Heli guys might not be too happy. Take extra care if approaching from Tairua/Whangamata side as you have to turn right across the top of the passing lane.

19 km

19 minutes




Follow the orange markers, if you do go off track then return to the last point you saw an orange marker.

Very patchy.

Long-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Gloves, Beanie/thermal headwear, Personal Locator Beacon (PLB), Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Survival blanket, Cellphone, Map

Water available at the Kahikatea campground (end of track)

Likely to be muddy after rain, also do not attempt to cross the river at the bottom if it is full and flowing rapidly

Gorse and cutty grass along the track but generally avoidable apart from the scrub section at the end when you will need to take care.

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Trail Reviews

Still offcially closed as of March 2024, though no obvious issues with the trail itself, just the parking area on the highway (east end) is still inacessible to cars due to previous construction work. The trail is well marked, mostly well trodden, relatively easy to walk with a few scrambles up/down to streams and single file in some places where it's getting a bit tight but no major dropoffs. There is a section to the east end along the side of a hill that's covered in grass so you have to watch your step, and a bog to the west end which will have you ankle deep (or more) in mud. Not much gorse though and looks like someone might be maintaining it as some logs had been cut away.

Christopher Friend

March 3

Agree with the previous comments - mostly highly runnable. The cutty grass (combined with gorse!) section that Lisa mentioned in January was still pretty ugly in April. It's not a long stretch but it is narrow, pretty unstable ground and with nothing other than he cutty grass and gorse to clutch onto if you stumble (which I did). Once through that, it's plain sailing in both directions. Have fun.

Jeremy Boase

April 6, 2021

A nice track to run - no one else on it, which is how I like it! Descriptions on this site are accurate - there is a bit of tree fall in the first 1km but once you get past it, the track is fine. Just under 2km in there is a section which is quite overgrown with cutty grass and it is a little hard to see whether you're on the right track or not. Just keep going - only lasts about a minute and you will see orange markers again. Also, there is no toilet at the top (start) of the track, so I suggest going in Kopu (if coming from that side) before you get there if needed. There are toilets at the campground across the river a the bottom of the track, but i didn't bother going over. Enjoyed this run - will do it again.

Lisa Parnell

January 17, 2021

Interesting track. There are parts a little overgrown, and as the track does not seem to be maintained or get much traffic there is a bit of deadfall on the track. However there are some lovely stretches of running and the gradient was much easier than expected given the elevation gain.

Kirstine Collins

September 15, 2020

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