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Ngatapuwae , Waikato

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Ngatapuwae Beginner - Intermediate

Submitted by Katie Smith

Info Info
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Trail Information







Front country - easily accessible


Undulating, small hills only

Native bush
Plantation/exotic forest

Beginner - Intermediate

2:30 (Slow)
1:40 (Moderate)
1:10 (Fast)



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Start at the DoC sign which has a map of the route - this follows the A-B track on the map then goes a little further, but gives a good idea. You will be branching off the main track onto side tracks that criss-cross the main spine. These are marked with small uprights like road markers.

The track climbs gradually through thick bush. The first turn-off the main track is on the right after about 700m. These single tracks were built as MTB tracks - look out for bikes but it is very infrequently used. You reach the main track and cross straight onto the left. The right-left pattern repeats again, then after a stint on the central track you turn onto a right-hand trail again - this is marked as one-way in the wrong direction. After this joins the main track again turn right and continue for a few kms before turning sharply to the left and starting to go downhill.

During this section you might see DoC orange triangles in the bush on the lefthand side - these are on the track you will return on so ignore them for now. You will see a further turn-off on the left. Ignore it and head on down the main track. It becomes quite rough and overgrown from here. after another 1.5km you will reach the river - have a splash and a drink before turning around. When you reach the first turn-off, now on your right, take it. This roughly parallels the main track but is all single track and through thick lush bush. You pop out on the main track again. From here you can again take the right-left-right-left side tracks, or stay on the main track for variety. Follow your nose back to the carpark.

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Make Up of Run

Technical Single Track: 30%

Moderate Single Track: 50%

Easy Single Track: 20%

Route Data


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  • Access

    Drive through Waitomo, taking the second exit at the roundabout signposted to Te Anga and Marokopa onto Te Anga road. Just after winding up beside some bluffs Ngatapuwae Road turns off on the right. Follow this gravel road right to the end (approx 4km) and park in the small pull-in on the right near the DoC sign.

    Space for 2-3 cars, safe parking, no public transport

    5 km

    9 minutes



  • Staying Safe


    Just keep an eye out for the side turn-offs - some of the markers get covered in bush. If you don't find them, the main track is still a really nice out-and-back.


    Personal Locator Beacon (PLB), Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Cellphone, Map.

    The river at the turnaround point is the only reliable water access - there are other small streams after rain but these dry up in the summer.

    Clay track gets very muddy and slippery after rain. Mostly well shaded in summer.

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