Waitomo Course Information

There are four distance options available, including 6, 11, 22 and 35km, catering for all abilities and family groups. Walkers will be most welcome – this is not just for hardcore runners.

The two longest distances start at Mangapohue Natural Bridge, and traverses the most unique  geological line in New Zealand (or indeed the world). The 22km finishes on Stubbs Farm and the 35km continues 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.

 

DistanceStartFinishMangapohue Natural BridgeWaitomo Natural TunnelKarst, limestone formationsRocky RidgeStubbs CanyonHole In The RockRuakuri Cave and spiralRuakuri Reserve and 'mini caves'
Super Long 35kmMangapohue Natural BridgeGlowworm Caves Visitors CentreYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Long 22kmMangapohue Natural BridgeStubbs FarmYesYesYesYesYesYes
Medium 11kmStubbs FarmStubbs FarmYesYesYesYes
Short 6kmRuakuri CaveGlowworm Caves Visitors CentreYesYesYes
DistanceUnderground experienceFree shuttle busesBuffet aid stationsNumber of aid stationsChild friendlyFinishers medals100% free photos
Super Long Course 35kmYesYesYes5YesYes
Long Course 22kmYesYesYes3YesYes
Medium Course 11kmNoNot requiredYes2YesYesYes
Short Course 6kmYesYesYes1YesYesYes

 

The Four Distances

6km Short: Ruakuri 

6km

 

 

 

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.

 

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2017 WTR 6km Elevations-1

 

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11km Medium: Stubbs Farm  

11km

 

 

 

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

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.

 

WTR 2017 Mid Course Map-1

 

2017 WTR 11km Elevations-1

 

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22km Long 

36km

 

 

 

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 22km finishes on Stubbs Farm.

Start: Mangapohue Natural Tunnel, |  Finish: Stubbs Farm | Point to point.
Aid Stations: 2

Hills:
 Lots.
Roots and rocks: Yes – especially dense on the adventure option. 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.

 

WTR 2017 Long Course Map-1

2017 WTR 22km Elevations (1)-1

 

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35km Super-Long 

36km

 

 

 

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. You have both shorter and adventure options (see below). Exiting Stubbs farm, you bomb downhill through several farms before to the finish line at the Waitomo Glowworm Visitors Centre. NOTE: The final few km of the 35k course have not been set – but will be different and more scenic than the 35k course used in 2016.

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

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.

 

WTR 2017 All Courses Map-1

 

2017 WTR 35km Elevations-1

 

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Adventure Options

Depending on how adventurous, energetic or tired you are, the super-long course and long course contain a number of options.
– Medium. Bailout. – 30 minutes. Near Stubbs Canyon, you will have the option of  finishing early. This will take you directly to the airstrip. Saves 30-60 minutes.
– Long/Super Long. Bailout. – 30 minutes. Near Stubbs Canyon, you will have the option of  finishing early. This will take you directly to the airstrip. Saves 30-60 minutes.
– Long / Super Long. Cave Paddock +10 to 15 minutes. A short diversion in the ‘Cave Paddock’ takes you inside a cave that you can explore underground for a wee way.
– Medium / Long / Super Long. Stubbs Canyon +15 minutes. Visit the magnificent Stubbs Canyon on Stubbs Farm. You will have towering cliffs above you as you descend the depths and will get to peer into the cavern from the lookout. Far below you on the cave floor lie skeletons of dozens of extinct North Island kakapo.

All runners and walkers in the 11, 22 and 35km courses now get to enjoy the views from Rocky Ridge on Stubbs Farm.