“The "Tarawera Marathon & 50k" - 50km race, held in November, is a great way to test your skill.
— Kerry Suter
Race - Nov 11, 2017
Geyser · Hot Spring · Lake · River/Creek · Spring · Swimming · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers · Wildlife
Do not enter Te Puia, Woodstock Farm or Buried Village without owner approval.
The "Tarawera Marathon & 50k" - 50km course. From Geyser to Volcano.
Note - Includes private access in Te Puia, on Woodstock Farm as well as Buried Village. Please respect the land owners by staying on trail through these portions.
Need to Know
This can be run without access to the private land by starting on the Gorge Track outside Te Puia, skipping the Woodstock Farm out-and-back and skipping the Buried Village Loop.
This is a one-way run, and water taxi extraction from Hot Water beach will require planning.
The event starts in the Whakarewarewa Thermal Field, Te Puia. You'll run through the thermal field and under a tunnel which leads straight into the hemo gorge track. Continue on singletrack trails through hemo gorge and past the Waipa Mountain bike area, over the bridge and onto the Yellow Track through the Redwood Grove, Bakers Hollow, and then Nursery Road. Follow Nursery Road to through the Puarenga Stream Track to the first aid station ‘Puarenga Nice’ at the intersection of the Puarenga Stream Track and Nice Road.
It’s a gently uphill on Nice Road to Reservoir Road (with a water supply at the drinking fountain), along Ring Road through a new ‘secret shortcut’ in the Forest, south of the Pondy Mountain bike tracks, and over the forestry road summit. At the summit, look back over your shoulder at the views of Rotorua city and Lake Rotorua before dropping to the Green Lake Picnic area via Pondy Road.
Leaving Green Lake Picnic area, you stay along Green Lake for only a short time before veering right and onto Mossy Track. At the high point of Mossy, you follow a marked route to the Woodstock Farm Boundary. Follow the ridgeline along Woodstock Farm. You run right through the middle of the property ascending all the way to the Woodstock Woolshed before plunging down through little farm tracks to Green Lake and tracing the western shore of the lakefront back to the Green Lake Picnic Station.
Leaving Green Lake Picnic Station, you skirt along the western shore of Rotokakahi (Green Lake) to the peninsula before turning and returning to Green Lake Picnic via the lakeside redwood track. From Green Lake Picnic, you follow the northern shore of Green Lake to the Blue/Green Lake lookout, and turn right down the sealed road and right again into the Tarawera Trail
. Almost immediately after the Tarawera Trail
you make a left turn into Buried Village. The aid station will be inside Buried Village – an important excavation site following the 1886 eruption. You’ll run under the Wairere Falls and up along Te Wairoa stream before joining the Tarawera Trail
The trail plunges quickly from the high plateau with the waterfall visible on your left as you descend. The twisty, turny trail follows the southern shore of Lake Tarawera underneath Pohutukawa along Kotukutuku Bay, Hawaiki Bay and to Twin Creeks at Te Hinau Bay where you can fill your water bottles from the natural springs.
From there it is more beautiful singletrack along Lake Tarawera and inland as you cross over the Wairua stream and up the final climb before descending to the finish line at Hotwater Beach at Te Rata Bay, Lake Tarawera.
Following your race, enjoy a soak in the natural hotpools or a swim in the lake before taking a boat ride back to the landing at Lake Tarawera. If you don’t have someone to collect you, we’ll have buses going back to Rotorua at regular intervals.
History & Background
Mt. Tarawera erupted in 1886. Lots of history. Google it!