Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023

Beginner - Intermediate

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I've done it Done

Ngatapuwae

Waitomo, Waikato

Submitted by Katie Smith

Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023

Beginner - Intermediate

Save Trail Save

I've done it Done

Open

Grunt Factor: 20 ?

Gnarl Factor: 50 ?

13.2km

420m

420m

317m

  

  

  

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Trail Map

Type of Run

Front country - easily accessible

Combo

Undulating, small hills only

Dog Friendly

Native bush

Plantation/exotic forest

Run Makeup

20%
50%
30%

Easy Single Track

Moderate Single Track

Technical Single Track

Average Uphill Gradient: +8.0%

Average Downhill Gradient: -8.1%

Trailhead

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Estimated Times to Run

2:30

Slow

1:40

Moderate

1:10

Fast

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.

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

5 km

9 minutes

Yes

No

Easy.

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.

Non-existent.

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.

You and Ngatapuwae

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Trail Reviews

Not a bad trail. Turned into a bit of a ninja warrior course on way down to the stream, which was fun. I'd recommend running in inov8 or rugby shoes, running the side trails and maybe include te raumauku and te araroa tracks aswell

jace jones

September 11, 2022

Mud wasn't too bad on my visit. Track pretty rough though due to horses cutting it up. Bush gets a bit more interesting (original) once you've crossed the stream.

Glen Brownlee

July 7, 2021

Nice trail with a surprising amount of elevation, mix of sand and clay - some parts smooth and packed and some not. The "main" track is not marked with much, doesn't need to be, out and back is simple if you stick to the large sandy trail. There are several side tracks which loop back to the main track - can be a bit confusing. I did an out and back, stayed on the main track and had no issues. 6.4km out to the stream (lovely spot for a paddle and a picnic) and the same return. Tough in wet conditions, shin deep clay/mud/sand in places.

Martin Carroll

July 29, 2020

Magic wee trail... I struck it on a day when the heavens opened, so for much of the return leg I was running along a stream.. but it was still so much fun. Dont skip the side trails ... they are the best running, they are awesome. Getting down and back up from the river might be tough in a wet winter as there is lots of clay and we know how tough wet sloppy clay it to climb or descend. All in all a trail you want to do!

Mike Tennent

March 22, 2020

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