Waihaha Hut Track

The Waihaha Hut Track is set in native forest within the Pureora Forest Park on the western side of Lake Taupo. The track follows the beautiful Waihaha River up to the Waihaha Hut which is set in a clearing overlooking the river.

The Waihaha Hut. Pic credit : MountainBikerTim.

This trail is grade 4 and is 9km one way into the hut. Riders return the same way, making it an 18km return journey. The trail has been upgraded to make it more rideable but there are still some difficult sections where bikes will need to be carried. The trail is suitable for riders of moderate skill levels and fitness and you can expect to complete the return journey in approximately 3 hours.

The first part of the trail meanders along the Waihaha River bank and follows upstream through shrubland before entering dense podocarp forest. After 9km of riding you will reach a picturesque clearing where you’ll find the 10 bunk Waihaha Hut, a popular overnight location for hunters and trampers. The hut overlooks the Waihaha River where there is a good spot for a quick swim in summer. Have lunch at the hut (pack your own) or a drink stop before heading back out of the forest the way you came in.

This ride is considered one of the most accessible and achievable adventure rides in the Great Lake Taupo region. The shorter distance makes it achievable for those with moderate fitness while still experiencing the remoteness of the forest in the Pureora ranges.

Make sure you carry enough food, water and warm clothes as the weather can change quickly in the backcountry, and always let someone know where you are going and what time you expect to return.


Getting There: 

From Taupo, drive 54kms to the Waihaha River Bridge on the Western Bays Road (State Highway 32). The trail starts on the other side of the road from the car park at the southern end of the bridge.


Note :


Be careful not to confuse the Waihaha link of the Great Lake Trail (which heads east down the Waihaha River towards the lake) with the Waihaha Hut Track. Make sure you take the Waihaha Hut Track on the western side of the road that leads up the Waihaha River. The trails are signposted.


Key Information :

 Distance  18km
 Grade  4
 Time Required   3 hours 
 Phone Coverage   Intermittent 
 Toilets  At start/finish of trail, and at Waihaha Hut (9km) 
 Shuttle  Yes (available from Taupo). Book shuttle services prior to departure.
 See the shuttles and guides page for more information.

Download the printable PDF of this Waihaha Hut Track information.

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