Last Updated: 28th Oct 2023

Intermediate - Experienced

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Kapakapanui Loop

Last Updated: 28th Oct 2023

Intermediate - Experienced

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I've done it Done

Grunt Factor: 32 ?

Gnarl Factor: 75 ?








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Trail Map

Type of Run

Front country - easily accessible



Native bush

Open ridges/tops

Run Makeup


Farm Road / 4WD Track

Easy Single Track

Moderate Single Track

Technical Single Track

Average Uphill Gradient: +15.6%

Average Downhill Gradient: -17.8%


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Estimated Times to Run







Kapakapanui is great climb, the run starts off through private property but is well marked. There are a number stream crossings to begin with so expect to get wet feet from the outset. Beware that if it has been raining heavily that the stream crossings may not be possible. The track can either be done clockwise os anticlockwise. Clockwise is easier than anticlockwise. The track is steep in places but once you get to the summit there are great views over Kapiti out to Kapiti island and on the otherside out to the Tararuas. In some places there are fallen trees that need to be navigated around.

This trail includes the peak Kapakapanui.

Still shows some cyclone damage from 1936 near the summit

Limited parking at the end of the road, some off road parking on the grass.

9 km

12 minutes




Always keep an eye on the orange triangles. In some places the track may look to go in a different direction to the triangles so always locate the next orange triangle before proceeding.

Very patchy.

Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Windproof jacket, Beanie/thermal headwear, Personal Locator Beacon (PLB), Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Survival bag, Survival blanket, Cellphone, Map

Some water is available at Kapakapanui hut

Due to the height and location to the Tararua ranges it ca be very exposed at the summit. In winter there can be snow on the summit. The track is fairly muddy in some places and be very slippery in or after rain

There are few fallen trees that need to be climbed over or navigated around. There is also a few stream crossings to navigate as well.

Trail Legend

Cullum Mangin

Cullum Mangin

has completed Kapakapanui Loop once in the last year.

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Trail Reviews

Walked this route, didn't try running it - 5h 45m start to finish clockwise. Lucky with the weather - clear at the top with stunning views.

Magnus Edwards

February 6

Walked/hiked this trail.
Agree with what others have said about it being very technical and steep - cool to explore!
When we did it the view was covered by cloud/mist .

Zavana McAffer

July 15, 2023

First run/walk after injury, enjoyed it thoroughly, the views are magnificent, glad I did it.

Michelle de la Rey

July 3, 2021

I loved this loop track, it felt like a bigger badder Hemi Matenga.
I agree with the previous comments, the track is steep, muddy and technical on the way down, all the good things!

Mike Richardson

December 30, 2020

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