Last Updated: 25th May 2024


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Waitawheta Tramway - Bogeys and Bluffs

Waihi, Waikato

Submitted by Lesley Mochan

Last Updated: 25th May 2024


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Grunt Factor: 19 ?

Gnarl Factor: 14 ?








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Trail Map

Type of Run

Front country - easily accessible

Out and Back

Totally/mostly flat

Native bush


Open farmlands

Run Makeup


Farm Road / 4WD Track

Easy Single Track

Average Uphill Gradient: +5.2%

Average Downhill Gradient: -5.2%


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Estimated Times to Run







From the car park, follow the road down to the entrance of the farmland track, and follow the markers through the paddocks to get to the gate at the entrance of the bush. Just to your left is the track junction for the Bluff Stream and Kauri Loop walk which is another great run. Follow the prominent tramway and you will come across the Dalys Clearning turnoff on the right approx 3km from the start. A lovely waterfall is just on ahead. Another 0.5 km is the Twin Kauri track on the left which loops onto the Kauri Loop walk. Keep following the tramway and soon you will cross 5 swing bridges which have beautiful views of the river and gorges. After the last bridge, the track continues on for about 2.4 km before you reach the alternative track (1.2km) to avoid the river crossing. Back on to the tramway and it is around 2km to the hut. On the way you will pass the track to the old Waitawheta hut and campsite (toilet), and the sawmill site. From here it is not far to the junction to the hut, veer right across a small bridge and after a short climb will arrive outside the lovely Waitawheta hut (booking is necessary if you plan to stay over). There is a toilet here too. Return on the same route.

The track following along the historic Waitawheta Tramway to the Waitawheta hut. the area is famous for the milling of Kauri and native timber and you can visit the Waitawheta sawmill remains. A replica logging bogey (tram cart) is one of the features, along with plenty of information boards, and the original tramway. At the hut, there is also a short loop track that has some interesting features. The walk also includes amazing bluffs along the narrow river gorge and 5 swing bridges.

If you know of any public toilets near the trail start or on the route, please login and then let us know so we can update this section.

The carpark at the end of Waitawheta Rd is beside a residential home and should be relativity safe. It does get busy, so it pays to arrive early. there are no toilets here. There is no public transport.

13 km

13 minutes




All tracks are clearly marked.


Long-sleeved thermal top, Windproof jacket, Gloves, Beanie/thermal headwear, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Survival blanket, Cellphone, Map

Plenty of water from the river and waterfalls. Also water available at the hut.

Very muddy after rain.

The river, but the swing bridges avoid the need to cross the river.
Take care along the tramway as there are sleepers, iron nails, and lots of rocks which makes for uneven footing

The Falls Retreat
Waitawheta Rd, on right just past the Owharoa falls.
Awesome setting and yummy pizzas. Great for a glass of mulled wine on cold days or a beer on hot days Great staff and service

Flat white cafe
21 Shaw Rd, Waihi Beach
Delicious food and good coffee Overlooks beach Gets very busy in summer though

Waikino Station cafe
Waikino, Karangahake gorge
Old fashioned food

Trail Legend


Liv Flett

has completed Waitawheta Tramway - Bogeys and Bluffs twice in the last year.

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Trail Reviews

Sensational trail with plenty of add on options. Loads of history, stunning scenery and plenty of interesting sights along the way. Including Dalys Clearing Loop gives you about 3km extra plus some vert and cool farmlands scenery and views.

Anthony Sowerby

June 12, 2022

I'd forgotten how varied this trail was - road, meadow, old railway, bush, riverside paths, swing bridges , water holes, river crossing and gorges. It is never easy underfoot because of the stones and railways sleepers or uneven pastures but I love the mixture of terrain and the environment. If you want to take your time, you can read the information boards or just wonder about the random metal stakes, wooden sleepers and remnants of gold digging paraphernalia and what life might have been like for the workers on this trail when it was first forged. The beauty for me is how nature has reclaimed the whenua but how there are just enough remnants to remind us of a time when industry transformed the land. Enjoy!

Anne-Louise Robertson

December 6, 2021

Can't say this would be one of my favourite Kaimai trails (for running). The rocks underfoot are not pleasant to run on, especially during wet conditions.

There are some highlights though. If you take the bypass trail before the river crossing, you'll enjoy about 2k of soft single trail. On the way back you can make your adventure more runnable by climbing up to the Daly's hut and take the Mangakino pack trail and Deal trail back to the car park. These are much nicer to run on that the river trail.

Don't take me wrong, it's nice enough for exploring the Kaimai tram trails, but hiking it would be probably preferable to running.

Petr Faitl

August 22, 2020

Absolutely fantastic trail. Provides plenty of running and many spots to cool off in the river

Katrina Gurnick

January 20, 2019

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