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Taniwha - Waikato River Trails, Waikato

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Taniwha - Waikato River TrailsIntermediate

Submitted by Tim Carpenter

Info Info

Trail Information







Front country - easily accessible

Point to Point (one way)

Undulating, some big hills

Native bush
Plantation/exotic forest


9:00 (Slow)
7:00 (Moderate)
5:00 (Fast)



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Start along the road to the start of the trail, signposted. Head down hill and follow trail signs.
This continues for approx 20km to the Waipapa Dam with a short section along the road, before dropping into the trails again.
Most of the elevation is through this section that runs from Waipapa to Mangakino.
The last couple of km into Mangakino is along the road, it is still signposted.
The last 20km from Mangakino is undulating, this trail is exposed to the sun, crossing the Whakamaru Dam (possible finish point), with around 9km to the Mi Camp to finish.
Can also be run as:
Start to Waipapa - 20km
Waipapa Dam to Mangakino - 20km
Mangakino to Mi Camp - 20km

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Features of interest

There is a very big swing bridge on the first 15km of the run. Cross the Waipapa and Whakamaru dams.

Make Up of Run

Moderate Single Track: 35%

Easy Single Track: 50%

Farm Road / 4WD Track: 10%

Sealed Road: 5%

Route Data


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Wild Explorers

I did it!
  • Access

    Start point is 399 Waotu South Road, Waotu to make a full 60 km run. Put it into the GPS and it will get you there.
    You can also get dropped off at the road end, and avoid a couple of km on the seal.

    Country road, recommend getting dropped off and running point to point.

    26 km

    28 minutes



  • Staying Safe


    Make navigation of this route super-easy by using the Capra app on your phone. View on Capra .

    Follow the trail signs, there is only 1 trail along the river bank for most of the run


    Short-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Cellphone, Map.

    Carry your own

    Exposed to environment i.e. rain or hot sun

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