Starting at the stunning Waipapa Dam you will head down the Western side of the mighty Waikato River. The track surface for this first section of your day is hard packed clay, the huge pine forest towers above, and the hills start short but sharp. In the 8km following the Dam you undulate your way through old pine forests, then head up a tough climb and away from the river. From here the going gets easier, with magic views of the River below, before you pop out at the Maraetia Power Station. Your legs will love the next couple of km as you scream down the sealed road and into the historic river side town of Mangakino (your half way point.)
The next 12km from Mangakino to Whakamaru Dam is a highlight of the day. You will enjoy the rolling gravel track as you hammer it through pockets of bush and across a number of sparkly new swing bridges with farm land and friendly cows to your right and constant views of Lake Maraetai to your left - stunning!
Crossing your last dam of the day, Whakamaru Dam, you will be straight back into quality trail! Now following Lake Whakamaru you cling to the bank, as the track winds its way east through a beautiful strip of native bush wedged between Ongaroto Road and the lake. The bush opens and you cruise through some spectacular lake side reserves for the last couple of km's before you finish at the truly magic Whakamaru Christian Camp, situated on its own Island surrounded by the clear waters of Lake Whakamaru.
- Course - Map 1 (404k pdf)
- Course - Map 2 (421k pdf)
- Elevation Profile (7kb pdf)
- Start Point (440k pdf)
12km, 19.5km, 32km, 38km (all aid stations will stock at least sports drink and water).
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED GEAR - NOT COMPULSORY
- Beanie - polypropylene or wool
- Spare long-sleeve thermal top
- Jacket - seam sealed
- Basic first aid kit (including; 2m x 50mm strapping tape, 1x 50mm crepe bandage, 4x gauze pads, 6x painkillers, 15cm self-adhesive bandage strip)
- Safety blanket
- Food and at least 1.5 litres of fluid