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Tongariro River Trail, Waikato

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Tongariro River TrailBeginner

Submitted by Matt Alexander

Info Info
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Trail Information







Front country - easily accessible


Undulating, small hills only

Native bush
Open farmlands


2:30 (Slow)
1:45 (Moderate)
1:15 (Fast)



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NOTE: Dogs on-lead only.

There is only one real climb on the trail up to the Tongariro River Lookout at the main car park end of the loop, with a view over the Tongariro River, Turangi township to Mt Pihanga, and the volcanoes of the Tongariro National Park. The trail follows an attractive scenic loop along the banks of the river through mature beech forests, manuka and fern groves, with a small section having views over farmland and to the Kaimanawa Forest Park. Along the trail there are excellent views of the river where you can frequently spot the fly fishing action as well as the rafting. The Tongariro River is a world renowned fishery and from the trail or the bridges you can see trout in the crystal clear water. It is a run where you can enjoy with you family biking along with you as it is also a family friendly MTB track.

NOTE: There's a long-drop toilet at Red Hut Bridge (up by the car park)

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Features of interest

An easy, undulating, well maintained track that can also be run as shorter loops tailored to suit your particular needs. There is a swing bridge to cross and plenty spectacular scenery.

Make Up of Run

Easy Single Track: 100%

Route Data


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Wild Explorers

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  • Access

    The Tongariro River Trail is accessed from Turangi town at the South end of Lake Taupo.

    From Taupo drive 40min South on SH1 to Turangi. Directly opposite the Sportsmans Lodge, you will find a paved car park and coffee cart.

    Start by crossing the bridge, duck underneath it and then head on up the only real climb on up the hill to the lookout.

    If you happen to be staying at Sportsmans Lodge then you can access the trail via their garden.

    Plenty of parking available.

    1 km

    5 minutes



  • Staying Safe


    Easy route to navigate as it is simply a loop that goes up one side of a river, across a swing bridge and back down the other side. Signage is good.

    Generally good.


    Carry what you need

    Generally easy all year round and just as much fun in the rain.

    Keep an eye out for the occasional MTB

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