Waitomo Course Information

Waitomo Course Information

Set your stopwatches – entries open on October 1st for the 2020 Discover Waitomo Trail Run!

The two longest distances start at Mangapohue Natural Bridge, and traverses the most unique  geological line in New Zealand (or indeed the world). The 21km finishes on Stubbs Farm and the 35km continues on to finish at the world-famous Waitomo Glowworm Visitors Centre.

Runners and walkers will pass through the almost fantastical scenery of Waitomo tunnel, across karst-studded farm landscapes, lush DOC reserves and through canyons and caverns on private farmland. Runners and walkers will pass through the deep forested gorge of the Ruakuri Caves and Bush Scenic Reserve with towering limestone cliffs. A smooth trail along the Waitomo stream takes everyone back to the award-winning Waitomo Glowworm Caves Visitors Centre.

 35KM21KM11KM6KM
Start Mangapohue Natural Bridge Mangapohue Natural Bridge Stubbs Farm Ruakuri Cave
Finish Glowworm Caves Visitor Centre Stubbs Farm Stubbs Farm Glowworm Caves Visitors Centre
Mangapohue Natural Bridge Yes Yes - -
Waitomo Natural Tunnel Yes Yes - -
Karst, limestone formations Yes Yes Yes Yes
Rocky Ridge Yes Yes Yes -
Stubbs Canyon Yes Yes Yes -
Hole in the Rock Yes Yes Yes -
Ruakuri Cave & Spiral - - - Yes
Ruakuri Reserve & mini caves Yes - - Yes

 

 35KM21KM11KM6KM
Underground experience Yes Yes No Yes
Free shuttle buses Yes Yes Not Required Yes
Buffet aid stations Yes Yes Yes Yes
Number of aid stations 4 2 1 1
Child friendly - - Yes Yes
Finishers medals Yes Yes Yes Yes
100% free photos Yes Yes Yes Yes

 

The Four Distances

6km Short: Ruakuri  

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This adventure starts inside the Ruakuri Cave, takes you up the spiral staircase and into Ruakuri Reserve. In the reserve you will run underneath towering limestone formations, over bridges and under short tunnels. You exit via the easy and flat Waitomo Trail to the finish line at the Waitomo Glowworm Visitors Centre.

Start: Ruakuri Cave |  Finish:  Glowworm Caves Visitors Centre | Loop + one-way to finish line 

Aid Stations:1

Hills: One – mostly moderate, short

Roots and rocks: Virtually nil.

Type: Well formed DOC tracks and nature walk 100%

Vegetation: Native Forest 50 % | Planted natives and farmland 50%

Recommended shoes: Trail or Road.

Child friendly: Yes. All ages. Strollers not recommended.

Fastest finisher time: 23 minutes

Average time: 58 minutes

Last finisher: 2:13 hours

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11km Medium: Stubbs Farm

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This adventure starts and finishes on Stubbs Farm, Te Anga Road. You begin by traversing some of the most karst rich landscapes in the world (indeed the highest concentration of doline land formations on the planet) on the amazing Stubbs farm. An adventurous climb over some limestone rock takes you to Frog Pond aid station. From here you enter the beautiful native bush on in the QEII block. You will have an option to turn left and explore Stubbs Canyon (an optional out and back – but well worth it) where you can peer into the darkness of the cavern at the far end. You traverse rocky ridge to hole in the rock (there is an optional bypass for the claustrophobic), enjoy the views along roller coaster and from there it’s all downhill through native bush (on the Love Track) back to the finish line.

There is an option to complete this as a 6km run or walk – if you are participating with younger family members or have a shorter run.

Start: Stubbs Farm |  Finish: Stubbs Farm | Two different loops (more or less a figure 8).

Aid Stations: 1 (Frog Pond)

Water stops: 1 (Rollercoaster)

Hills: Numerous short and steep

Roots and rocks: Yes. Uneven terrain on farm tracks.

Type: Farmland tracks  60% |  Single track in native bush (some of it technical) 40%

Vegetation: Farms 60% Native Forest 40 %

Recommended shoes: Trail

Child friendly: Yes 5 years+ children capable of running and walking for 2-3 hours or more. Not suitable for pre-schoolers.

Fastest finisher time: 46 minutes

Average time: 2:39 hours

Last finisher: 5:45 hours

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21km Half Marathon 

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This adventure starts at Mangapohue Natural Tunnel, through farmland and along DOC tracks that wind along the Marokopa River. Cross the side creek and through the jaw-dropping Marakopa natural tunnel.  You emerge through sheep farms and view karst formations the entire journey to Frog Pond on Stubbs Farm. On Stubbs Farm, you dip and climb past sinkholes along amazing karst formations through a working sheepfarm and into the QEII Convenant protected native bush – home to canyons, karst, rocky ridges and caves and custom-made bush trails. The 21km finishes on Stubbs Farm.

Start: Mangapohue Natural Tunnel, |  Finish: Stubbs Farm | Point to point.

Aid Stations: 2 (Kokokoroa & Frog Pond)

Water stops: 1 (Rollercoaster)

Hills: Lots.

Roots and rocks: Yes. Uneven terrain on farm tracks.

Type: Farm tracks : 65% | Bush trails  35% |

Vegetation: Farmland 65% | Native Forest 35 %

Recommended shoes: Trail.

Child friendly: Ages 13+ with prior trail running experience.

Fastest finisher time: 2:20 hours

Average time: 5:31 hours

Last finisher: 9:30 hours

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35km Super-Long 

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This adventure starts at Mangapohue natural tunnel, through farmland and along DOC tracks that wind along the Marokopa River. Cross the side creek and through the jaw-dropping Marakopa natural tunnel.  You emerge through sheep farms and view karst formations the entire journey to Frog Pond on Stubbs Farm. From here you are led into QEII Convenant protected native bush – home to canyons, karst, rocky ridges and caves and custom-made bush trails. Exiting Stubbs farm, you bomb downhill through several farms before to the finish line at the Waitomo Glowworm Visitors Centre.

Recommend that runners and walkers have a good level of fitness and are comfortable on bush tracks, uneven ground and possibly muddy terrain.

Start: Mangapohue Natural Tunnel, |  Finish:Glowworm Caves Visitors Centre | Point to point.

Aid Stations: 4 (Kokokoroa, Frog Pond, Stubbs airstrip & Ruakuri)

Water stops: 1 (Rollercoaster)

Hills: Lots.

Roots and rocks: Yes. Uneven terrain on farm tracks.

Type: Farm tracks : 45% | Bush trails  50% | Well formed DOC tracks and nature walk 5%

Vegetation: Farmland 60% | Native Forest 40 %

Recommended shoes: Trail.

Child friendly: Ages 16+ with considerable prior trail running experience.  Expect this run to take 1-3 hours longer than a standard marathon.

Cutoff: 2:30 pm at Stubbs farm airstrip.

Fastest finisher time: 3:23 hours

Average time: 6:20 hours

Last finisher: 9:14 hours

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All runners and walkers in the 11k get to enjoy the views from Rocky Ridge on Stubbs Farm.