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Pillars of Hercules , Waikato

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Pillars of Hercules Beginner - Intermediate

Submitted by Matt & Juliet Alexander

Info Info
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Trail Information







Back country - remote

Out and Back

Undulating, some big hills

Native bush

Beginner - Intermediate

2:00 (Slow)
1:30 (Moderate)
1:00 (Fast)



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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.

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Features of interest

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.

Make Up of Run

Technical Single Track: 10%

Moderate Single Track: 20%

Easy Single Track: 70%

Route Data


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Wild Explorers

I did it!
  • Access

    Accessed from Tree Trunk Gorge Road which is about 15 minutes South of Turangi. From the turn off it is approximately 5 minutes to the start of the track.

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

    24 km

    18 minutes



  • Staying Safe


    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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