Submitted by Mike Tennent
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Front country - easily accessible
Undulating, some big hills
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Very straightforward, Run starts off with just under 1km straight up a steady incline for about 100m vert gain. Just before the top is a trail split, you can go either way, however I went the way indicated on the sign (to the right for an anti-clockwise loop). Then just follow the trail. the only side trails are a few to the left to the lakeshore, feel free to explore any of these, you cannot get lost. When I first did this trail many moons ago it was a lot more technical, however it is now pretty much a 'tourist trail' now. Still a nice way to stretch the legs.
Features of interest
Lots of birdlife.... including heaps of Pururu, native robin, various waterfowl. Nice wee lake.
Make Up of Run
Untracked / Route only: 0%
Technical Single Track: 0%
Moderate Single Track: 10%
Easy Single Track: 90%
Farm Road / 4WD Track: 0%
Gravel Road: 0%
Sealed Road: 0%
On State Highway 47 between Turangi and Whakapapa. 12km from Turangi centre. From Turangi end turn off SH1 at the southern end of town heading towards Tokaanu and then a couple of kms down that road turn left onto Te Ponanga Saddle Rd and from there it is just over 8km to the trail.
There is a good size carpark over the road from the entrance to the trail
Windproof jacket, Gloves, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Cellphone, Map.
A whole lake full... not sure how safe.
Supposedly the lake can get so full that the beach section of the run becomes unpassable... however I was there after several days of rain and lake was still quite low.
Post run indulgence
Behind the Chateau in Whakapapa Village
Excellent food, lovely bar with a warm fire after winter running and splendid hosts!
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