Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023

Beginner - Intermediate

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Pillars of Hercules

Turangi, Waikato

Submitted by Matt & Juliet Alexander

Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023

Beginner - Intermediate

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I've done it Done


Grunt Factor: 26 ?

Gnarl Factor: 30 ?








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Trail Map

Type of Run

Back country - remote

Out and Back

Undulating, some big hills

Native bush


Run Makeup


Easy Single Track

Moderate Single Track

Technical Single Track

Average Uphill Gradient: +8.9%

Average Downhill Gradient: -8.9%


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Estimated Times to Run







The track climbs a couple of hills through a red beech forest and crosses streams in a couple of places with the largest being at the Tree Trunk Gorge end. They are fairly easy to negotiate but there is definitely no way around getting your feet wet unless you get arrange a piggy back. As remote as is it, Mountain Bikers do use this track so do keep an ear out. Overall a really enjoyable run.

There are a couple stream crossings so be prepared to get wet feet and a small section of reasonably technical track but mostly it is a really nice open route.

This track is generally well graded as it mostly follows the line of an old road associated with the Tongariro Power Scheme. It is definitely worth tagging on the extra couple of KMs to make your way to the swing bridge at Pillars of Hercules.

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Remote roadside parking so probably best not to leave anything valuable in the car.

24 km

18 minutes




The track is well established and obvious.

Generally good.

Gloves, Beanie/thermal headwear, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Cellphone, Map

The streams look clear and clean enough to drink from

The large crossing my be difficult after a long period of heavy rain and there will of course be plenty of surface water and mud to make this track even more interesting while raining.

The forest floor is covered in beech tree debris which hides rocks and tree roots. The track is soft under foot in places and offers a few surprises along the way. Nothing too dangerous but be aware of what might be hiding to trip you up.

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Trail Reviews

This is a great little leg stretch to break the journey south - beautiful wide easy track through huge trees. Its also dog friendly if you arrange a DoC permit through the Turangi office.

Katie Smith

February 2, 2019

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