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Taupo Ultramarathon

Event details
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We love running – the longer the better. After a long run one day a plan was hatched, one thing led to another and after a lot of hard work, the Taupo Ultramarathon was born.

Taupo Ultramarathon event covers four distances – 24km, 50km, 74km, and 100km. The 24km, whilst not technically an ultra gives those new to the sport a taste of the experience.

The Great Lake Trail is an epic journey that showcases the very best of what the Great Lake Taupo region has to offer – New Zealand’s largest lake, mountain ranges, rivers, waterfalls, and native forest.

Of course, we’re biased, but we can vouch the course is absolutely stunning. Plus the Taupo Ultramarathon offers a once-a-year opportunity where runners can access the Great Lake Trail uninterrupted, including access over private land.

How to enter the Taupo Ultramarathon

  1. 100 km Solo/Relay

    Run 100km
    NZD $227–NZD $384
    Event passed
  2. 74 km Solo

    Run 74km
    NZD $227–NZD $317
    Event passed
  3. 50 km Solo

    Run 50km
    NZD $153–NZD $244
    Event passed
  4. 24 km Solo

    Run 24km
    NZD $77–NZD $110
    Event passed

Taupo Ultramarathon routes


The 24km event is designed for people who want to know what all this Ultra fuss is about but haven't quite got the Ultra running bug. It's not an Ultra, but let's call it "mini" to get you hooked. It starts outside the Kinloch Hall on the Kinloch Domain and takes runners through the streets of Kinloch before sending them off into the wonderful Great Lakes W2K trails to the finishline at Whakaipo.


The 50km event is designed for people who want to enter the world of Ultras and experience a whole lot of single trail bliss. It starts on Whangamata road at an airstrip which is on private land. Runners race along the airstrip, down some steep farmland before joining the wonderful Great Lakes K2K and W2K trails to the finishline at Whakaipo.


The 74km event is designed for people who want to go intrepid and do something a little different. You get to ride the boat out West and run to your hearts content. It starts at Kotukutuku Bay on the Western shores of the lake. Runners then head up a serious climb before travelling through private farmland (access is only available for this event), doing a gnarly section of gravel and tarseal bashing before heading onto the airstrip and down on to the wonderful Great Lakes K2K and W2K trails to the finishline at Whakaipo.


The 100km event is designed for people who want to do the full Monty and experience all that the Great Lakes Trails have to offer. It starts at Waihaha carpark on the Western shores of the lake. Runners then travel through private farmland (access is only available for this event), do a gnarly section of gravel and tarseal bashing before heading onto the airstrip and down on to the wonderful Great Lakes K2K and W2K trails to the finishline at Whakaipo.

Event Details

Raceday Logistics


100km Ultra Marathon run Solo / Teams - 6:00am @ Waihaha carpark on State Highway 32 on Taupo's western bay

74km Ultra Marathon run - 8:00am @ Kotukutuku Bay*

50km Trail Run / Walk - 10:00am @ Airstrip on Whangamata Road just past the K2K carpark

24km Trail Run/Walk - 12:00pm @ Kinloch Domain, Kinloch

*Boat access only. Participants must get the 6:15am boat from the Taupo Boat Harbour - cost included in entry fee. For more info about getting to start location see the


Where: Wairakei Resort Taupo, 640 Wairakei Drive, Taupo

When: Friday 11 October, between 4pm and 9pm

*Note: Registration is also available for the 24km and 50km participants at the startline.


All competitors must get their complusory gear checked by the event team before registering.

All 74km and 100km participants must be weighed prior to registering by our medical team.


Where: Wairakei Resort Taupo

When: 4pm-8pm

Although we encourage participants to have supporters and spectators on the course it is not essential to have a support crew. On the course dropbags are available for all 100 km, 74 km and 50km solo runners. All participants can make use of the finish line drop bag service.

How the drop bag service works:

At registration collect the appropriate drop bag label from our registration team . Then place your filled and clearly labelled dropbags and finish-line bags into the appropriate bin. Dropbags must be deposited at race registration before 8pm Friday. Please do not use the dropbag service for any Aid Stations where your support crew will be attending. If you have a dropbag at an Aid Station you will be asked to move it from the ‘unused pile’ to the ‘used pile’ even if you did not use your dropbag. This allows us to transport your dropbags quickly back to the finish-line once they have been used.

Dropbag Collection after the event

Dropbags from across the course will be available at the drop bag tent at the finish-line. You will be able to collect these by providing your race number to our volunteers at the Dropbag Collection desk in the tent at the finish-line. If for you are not able to collect your dropbag from the finish-line on race day, these will be available at the Wairakei resort before and during the prizegiving on Sunday. Dropbags not collected at prizegiving should be picked up from 43a Matai St, Taupo before you leave town.


Dropbags 100km - map

Drop bag 1 – End of Hingarae road

Checkpoint 33km

Drop bag 2 – Airstrip

Checkpoint 50km

Drop bag 3 – Kinloch Hall

Checkpoint 77km

Dropbags 74km - map

Drop bag 1 – Airstrip

Checkpoint 27km

Drop bag 2 – Kinloch Hall

Checkpoint 50km

Dropbags 50km - map

Drop bag 1 – Kinloch Hall

Checkpoint 26km



This briefing is compulsory for all participants. At the briefing we will go over all the logistics of the event and well as cover the all-important health and safety and medical aspects of the event.

Where: Wairakei Resort Taupo

When: 6.00pm and 8.00pm Friday 11th


The race briefing for all 24km competitors will be held prior to the race start at the Kinloch Domain on Saturday morning.

Where: Startline, Kinloch Domain

When: 11.45am, Saturday 12th


The race briefing for all 50km competitors will be held prior to the race start at the Aistrip on Whangamata Road on Saturday morning.

Where: Startline, Airstrip on Whangamata Road

When: 9.45am, Saturday 12th

Kit List


After spending a lot of time out on the course and working with the safety experts the race organisers have compiled a compulsory gear list for this event.

All participants of the 100km, 74km and 50 km events- including relay runners - will be required to have the full compulsory gear (option 4) items at registration. Gear checks will be carried out at registration and there will also be random checks on Saturday morning at the start line and throughout the course. If you do not have the correct gear you will not be allowed to continue on the course. This is for your own safety. The course takes part in an alpine environment in spring where conditions can change rapidly and you need to be prepared. Please do not underestimate how quickly the weather can change in this region.

For participants of the 24km you will now be required to carry compulsory gear option 3.

There are four compulsory gear options. The decision about which option you will need to take on course will be made prior to the event depending on the weather forecast.

Option 1: No complusory gear needed

Option 2 : Long sleeve top (polyprop or wool), beanie (polyprop or wool), survival blanket

Option 3: Long sleeve top (polyprop or wool), beanie (polyprop or wool), survival blanket, seam sealed jacket, gloves (polyprop or wool)

Option 4: Long sleeve top (polyprop or wool), beanie (polyprop or wool), survival blanket, seam sealed jacket, gloves (polyprop or wool), tights

It is strongly encouraged that you carry additional layers and have a spare change at Kinloch.


100k entrants will need lights for the start of the race as it will be dark. You can drop these at the first aid station (able to be picked up post-event on Saturday or Sunday).

All Ultra distances (50k, 74k, 100k) will need to have a light for the final 24k leg from Kinloch to Whakaipo Bay if you enter that trail after 2:30pm (same for compulsory gear - see above). So either have lights on you, or put your light in your last drop bag for pick up at Kinloch. For 100k entrants - this probably means two lights for the race: start and finish.

No light = no entrance to the final section of trail, which means no finish.

The last 24k is on remote single trail with no other access so please ensure you have sufficient illumination and batteries.


In addition to the start and finish, there are the following spectator points.

    100km - four points: Waihaha Road, Hingarae Road, Whangamata Road, Kinloch (mulitple viewpoints) - all at aid stations
    74km - three locations: Hingarae Road, Whangamata Road, Kinloch (multiple viewpoints) - all at aid stations
    50km - one location: Kinloch (multiple viewpoints)
    24km - none except for the start and finish areas as it's all on single trail!


The roads are not closed for this event so please keep an eye out for vehicles on the course. Also remember that the trails are open to the public so keep a watch out for bike riders and walkers. Please make sure you move off the trail to allow these other users to pass by. When passing slower runners, please indicate that you’d like to pass by saying passing on your left (or right) when overtaking. When travelling on farmland take care on fences, bridges and gates etc.

The course is remote so pay attention to markers and marshalls and keep yourself safe. The course is marked with signs, red arrows and blue total sport tape. Do not follow pink tape. Blue tape has been placed every 500 metres or so on tricky areas so if you can’t see tape stop and go back to where you last saw tape


If you need to withdraw for any reason you must notify an event official e.g. marshal or course crew and await instructions. Any runner who is unable to finish the run must personally inform the nearest Aid Station of their decision to withdraw and make sure their race number is recorded. Athletes who leave the race without officially withdrawing pose a serious risk to the event safety and will trigger an immediate Search and Rescue response. The race reserves the right to pass on any costs associated with an unnecessary search effort if a runner has not bothered to withdraw before leaving the race.


You must wear your event number on your front so it is visible at all times. You must wear your timing transponder correctly on your shoe at all times. Please return your timing transponder at the finish line in the boxes provided.


Participants who require any personal medication, must carry those items with them.


Be kind to each other out there. We have a marshal around every five km who has comms so if you come across another runner in trouble. Should you encounter an incident on course, please:

Try to communicate with the person and provide assistance, if you are able.

Send the next participant through to notify the next event official of the situation and location of the incident. Once you’ve finished the course, please report the incident to a member of staff or the medic team.


Each aid station will offer a combination of the following items:


Electrolyte drink

Sandwiches (peanut butter or vegemite)








A basic first aid kit

Coke will be available to all participants at the two aid stations on the headland loop.

Fluid will be available in cups and water containers to enable competitors to fill up drink bottles or bladders if they wish.

Sandwiches & Oranges will not be available at the final two aid stations (headland).

In an effort to reduce our footprint, we ask that you please bring either a reusable cup, drink bottle or hydration bladder to limit the use of disposable cups.

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