Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023

Beginner - Intermediate

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I've done it Done

Wharekirauponga Track

Whangamata, Waikato

Submitted by Charlotte Foley

Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023

Beginner - Intermediate

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I've done it Done

Grunt Factor: 15

Gnarl Factor: 46

12.0km

160m

160m

169m

  

  

  

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Trail Map

Type of Run

Front country - easily accessible

Out and Back

Undulating, small hills only

Dog Friendly

Native bush

Riverside

Run Makeup

10%
70%
20%

Easy Single Track

Moderate Single Track

Technical Single Track

Average Uphill Gradient: +5.8%

Average Downhill Gradient: -5.8%

Trailhead

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Estimated Times to Run

2:10

Slow

1:45

Moderate

1:10

Fast

This is a well marked DoC track with the usual orange trail markers. It is very easy to navigate. After the first 5km, you will see a bridge and track off to your left. Just ignore this and continue straight ahead as this section is currently closed for Kauri Dieback Disease Control. Generally this is a really runnable track with some technical sections. Be aware that if there has been significant rainfall, and for the most of winter, the track will be muddy and times will be affected unless you're a mud expert.

Towards the end of the currently accessible track there is a short tunnel - phone torch is sufficient - with a healthy cave weta population. For the bug phobic the roof is high enough you won't accidentally disturb them. Shortly after this there is a mine shaft off on the right. Eventually you will come to a suspension bridge overlooking the river and a waterfall. This marks the end of the open track as clearly signposted and so the bridge becomes the turnaround point for this run.

This track uses one of the old mining tramways and so there are mining relics dotted along the way. 

There is space for a dozen cars roughly but have never seen more than a couple. I've had no issues with security but it is remote so break-ins would go largely unwitnessed.

8 km

11 minutes

Yes

No

Easy.

Patchy.

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

No access to drinking water.

As per description above this track does become very muddy. The tunnel can be up to ankle deep water in winter and a phone torch can be handy on a more gloomy day.

Not a hazard but don't be alarmed if you hear helicopters buzzing around overhead. There is active drilling for gold further up the range and the track goes not far below their landing site.

Whilst this track is easily accessible it is not well used all year round and the cellphone service is patchy. Tell someone where you are going before you go.

It isn't a requirement that dogs be on a lead but there are signs up around supervising children and staying on track as there could be hidden mine shafts therefore I would strongly recommend keeping dogs on a lead.

Trail Legend

Don Laing

Don Laing

has completed Wharekirauponga Track once in the last year.

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Trail Reviews

Don’t run this after it’s been raining, the gravel track will be the least of your worries. I would have given it 5 stars if it wasn’t almost entirely mud. It would be a lovely riverside track if it wasn’t for that.

Jasmine MNijel

January 18, 2023

Agree with everything below - track is in great condition, highly runnable for the most part with just a few technical bits particularly close to the suspension bridge turnaround, and enough mud to call it a trail but not too much that it affects your run. Great 'beginner trail' in that it's easy to navigate, easy under foot, and very easy on the senses - the semi-constant burble of the river is a great backdrop.

Jeremy Boase

October 23, 2022

Such an awesome out and back trail run and the sound of the river next to you is so serene! Loads of really runnable sections with quite a bit of technical rooty/rocky patches and a few water crossings to keep things interesting! Definitely recommend this run for anyone nearby!

Caitlin Knox

April 4, 2021

Great track. The track is in excellent condition with only a few muddy patches. It is fast running with enough roots and rocks to keep it interesting. The trail is in lovely bush beside a river with some historical mining ruins for bonus interest. While it is a steady climb to the swingbridge this is barely noticeable with an easy gradient

Kirstine Collins

August 28, 2020

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