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The Taniwha

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The Taniwha is an incredibly unique and absolutely epic event that you will not want to miss out on this year!

The event celebrates the hard work of the Waikato River Trails Trust over the past 13 years in developing 100km of top quality trails - most of it on previously inaccessible land along the mighty Waikato River.

The trails wind their way through all the faces of New Zealand’s natural beauty - native bush, exotic forest, historic landmarks, geological formations, open reserves, boardwalks over wetlands, and stunning single track - taking in expansive lake and river views throughout. Phew! If too much amazing scenery were possible this'd be it!

Come participate and experience this beauty on Saturday 3rd November to take on as much of the stunning Waikato River Trails as you want - on foot, on two wheels, as an individual, or as a team! There's something for every age, ability, and fitness level.

Review summary

4.5
3 Reviews
  • Course
  • Organisation
  • Atmosphere

D

Dan B
"My first Marathon, Tough track but throughly enjoyed the experience, will be..."

E

Erin H
"I really enjoyed the walk. My friends and I walked together and thoroughly..."

K

Kovo M
"This race is always amazing. The course (even though slightly different this..."
See all reviews

How to enter the The Taniwha

  1. 85k MTB

    Bike 85km
    AUD $110–AUD $138
    Event passed
  2. 42.2k MTB

    Bike 42.2km
    NZD $38–NZD $76
    Event passed
  3. 22k MTB

    Bike 22km
    NZD $28–NZD $56
    Event passed
  4. 14k MTB

    Bike 14km
    NZD $24–NZD $47
    Event passed
  5. Marathon Run

    Run 42.2km
    NZD $110–NZD $112
    Event passed
  6. Half Marathon Run/Walk

    Run 21.1km
    NZD $38–NZD $76
    Event passed
  7. 14k Trail Run/Walk

    Run 14km
    NZD $28–NZD $56
    Event passed
  8. 7k Run/Walk

    Run 7km
    NZD $24–NZD $47
    Event passed

The Taniwha routes

85Km MTB

For those of you deciding to take on this ‘Big Boy’ you will be in for everything the Waikato River Trails has to offer! Starting at the majestic Little Waipa Domain, nestled on the banks of Lake Karapiro this 83km Mountain Bike sure does have a lot to offer! For those of you up for the challenge, this ride is amazing, but it is a long, tough day out there!

For the first 10km of your adventure you will be on some great single track which makes for some of the best riding of the whole day. As you gradually climb up to and past Arapuni Township you will be treated to some scenic views of both Lake Karapiro and Arapuni before popping out on Lake Arapuni Road.

The next 15km of your ride is a long gradual climb from 120 meters above sea level to 350 meters. The good news is that this 15km section is also all on quiet, but sealed (aka nice and fast) country roads. Essentially the only road section of any significance in your ride today, you will knock this 15km/230 meter with relative ease while you take in the traditionally rural Waikato country side.

After all the climbing there’s got to be some to show for it right?…RIGHT. At the end of Waotu South Road you head back into the trails and straight into a long, and in parts steep, downhill. The first section of this downhill will test both the nerves and the brakes with a number of tight switch-backs, before opening up with some fast sweeping corners as you get back down next to the river.

As you make your way along the newly created gravel track you will be treated to some beautiful native bush while travelling next to the southern end of Lake Arapuni. This section also boasts the biggest swing bridge of the trail, its impressive! You also take in a short section of the forestry roads as the foliage turns to the pine variety for the last few kilometers before the Waipapa Dam.

Once across the Waipapa Dam (half way point!) you are now heading down the Western side of the mighty Waikato River. The track surface now changes to hard packed clay, the forest becomes more closed in, and the hills start to bite harder. 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 slightly easier 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.

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 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.

42.2Km MTB

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.

22Km MTB

This section of the Waikato River Trails sure is one of the best! Starting at the historic river side town of Mangakino you will be straight into the trails.

The 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.

14Km MTB

Starting at the very south-western end of the Waikato River Trails your 14km run/walk will take in the Eastern Lake Whakamaru section of the trails; you and the 7km event will be the only courses that get to experience this awesome section of the Trails.

From your start just outside of Atiamuri you head west along the newly re-conditioned gravel trail. You can expect it to be running/walking through a mixture of Native bush, pine forest, and grassy river flats. What you don’t need to worry about in this course is big hill’s, there isn’t any! You will love the flowing nature of this track, but make sure that even while hammering along, you take in the magic vistas that Lake Whakamaru and the towering banks on the opposite side of the lake produce.

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.

42.2km Marathon (Run Only)

For those of you who decided to tackle the Taniwha Marathon, good on you, you’ll love it! Starting at the 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 and traverse a number of board ways, 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. From there it’s a gradual downhill for a few kilometres 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.

21.1km Half Marathon (Run/walk)

We are picking big numbers for this one, this half Marathon is jam packed with goodness! I kid you not; this section of the Waikato River Trails sure is some of the best! Starting at the historic river side town of Mangakino you will be straight into the trails.

The 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.

14km Trail Run/walk

Starting at the very south-western end of the Waikato River Trails your 14km run/walk will take in the Eastern Lake Whakamaru section of the trails; you and the 7km event will be the only courses that get to experience this awesome section of the Trails.

From your start just outside of Atiamuri you head west along the newly re-conditioned gravel trail. You can expect it to be running/walking through a mixture of Native bush, pine forest, and grassy river flats. What you don’t need to worry about in this course is big hill’s, there isn’t any! You will love the flowing nature of this track, but make sure that even while hammering along, you take in the magic vistas that Lake Whakamaru and the towering banks on the opposite side of the lake produce.

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.

Buggy friendly!

7km Trail Run/walk

Starting at the Eastern end of the Waikato River Trails your 7km run/walk will take in the Southern Lake Whakamaru section of the trails; you and the 14km event will be the only courses that get to experience this awesome section of the Trail.

From your start at Tram Road Reserve you head west along the newly re-conditioned gravel trail. You can expect it to be running/walking through a mixture of Native bush, pine forest, and grassy river flats. What you don’t need to worry about in this course is big hill’s, there isn’t any! You will love the flowing nature of this track, but make sure that even while hammering along, you take in the magic vistas that Lake Whakamaru and the towering river banks on the opposite side of the lake produce.

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.!

Buggy friendly!

Event Details

Raceday Logistics

Event Start Locations

85km MTB Little Waipa Domain – 873 Horahora Road
42.2km MTB — Waipapa Dam – 2034 Waipapa Road
22km MTB/E-Bike —  Lakeside Reserve, Mangakino
14 km MTB — Intersection of SH1 and Ongaroto Road, Atiamri
42.2km Marathon Run — Waipapa Dam – 2034 Waipapa Road
21.1km Half-Marathon Run/Walk —  Lakeside Reserve, Mangakino
14km Run/Walk —  Intersection of SH1 and Ongaroto Road, Atiamri
7km Run/Walk —  Tram Road

Event Time

85km MTB 8:00am
22km E-Bike  7:50am
42.2km MTB 8:10am
22km MTB 8:00am
14 km MTB 9:30am
42.2km Marathon Run 8:20am
21.1km Half-Marathon Run/Walk 8:10am
14km Run/Walk 10:30am
7km Run/Walk 10:30am

Race Pack Pick-Up – FRIDAY 2nd NOVEMBER

Your race number, timing transponder and race bag can be collected between 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm Friday 2nd at the South Waikato Sport and Events Centre – 25 Mossop Rd, Tokoroa (left, off SH1 as you head south).
Another person can collect your pack but they will need your full name, date of birth and event category to do so.

NOTE: ALL MTBers who have booked a bus to their start line MUST attend pre-event registration to drop off their MTB.

Race Day – SATURDAY 3rd NOVEMBER

Saturday morning registration will also be available at each start line one hour before race start.

PLEASE ALLOW PLENTY OF TIME if you need to take this option.

NOTE: There is no Saturday registration at the event base/finish line, only at the event start lines.

Event Base

Event base is the Whakamaru Mi-Camp (Hirurangi Island, 1105 Ongaroto Road (SH30), Kinleith 3491 on Whakamaru Lake).
Once there drive past this address and follow the gravel land bridge across to camp on the island.
ALL event options finish here.

 

FAQs

Course Ratings

(The ratings below are the minimum experience level required to participant in each specific event)

  • 7km run/walk – First time
  • 14km run/walk – First time
  • 21km run/walk – Beginner
  • 42km run – Intermediate
  • 14km Mountain Bike – First time
  • 22km Mountain Bike – First time
  • 42km Mountain Bike – Beginner
  • 83km Mountain Bike – Intermediate

Rules

  • All participants must follow the course marking signs and instructions, this is your responsibility
  • Participants are not allowed to go off course routes. Should you wish to withdraw you must notify an event official e.g. marshal or course crew and await instructions
  • On completing the event you must cross the finish line as the timing transponder records you as finishing, this is used as a safety check for participants
  • Participants who require any personal medication or disability assistance devices while participating must carry those items. This is your responsibility
  • You must wear your event number on your front so it is visible at all times
  • You must wear your timing transponder correctly at all times, on your shoes, around your ankle or on the fork of your bike for mountain bikers
  • NO LITTERING please
  • When over taking other runners/walker you must signal to them that you are attempting to pass. Pass on the right
  • If you are entered in a walk event you must walk only

Incident Protocol

Should you encounter an incident on course, please follow these steps:

  • STOP do not place yourself in danger
  • Try to communicate with the person
  • Assist with basic first aid if you are capable and can do so safely
  • Send the next participant through to notify the next event official of the situation and location of the incident e.g. two bikers collided, 4km back on the trail, one requires assistance to a sore arm.
  • Stop the next participant and request assistance if required.

Please Note:

  • If you are doing one of the mountain biking events and are booking the optional event transport to your start line you will have to attend the Friday registration. You will drop off your bike on the Friday when you register, and then on Saturday morning you will park your car at the finish area, get on a bus (with your gear, helmet, shoes…etc…) and be taken to your start line, your bike will be waiting for you there.
  • If you didn’t book your transport or lunch during your online registration, you can go back into your registration and add the transport or meal item.

Online registrations close on Thursday 1st November at 12noon.

The Taniwha weather forecast

Clear throughout the day.

20°C
Predicted highs
5°C
Predicted lows
IconLight breeze possible, up to 10mph

Meet the organiser

Are you the organizer? Claim this page

Our story is a pretty simple one. Born in 2000, the journey has been an interesting, challenging and enlightening one, where somewhere along the way our mantra became “Great Events, Stunning Locations”. We are a small team of like-minded people who share a passionate belief in creating opportunities for people from all walks of life to experience some of the most stunning landscapes on offer in New Zealand, this wonderful adventure playground we get to call home. We are energised and rewarded by being able to create a positive, welcoming and non-threatening environment for people to share, connect & inspire through adventure. Seeing people come together to challenge themselves amidst the energising outdoors is what gets us out of bed each and every day. Put another way, it’s our “Why”. We are a company focused on creating quality, meaningful event experiences for everyday people with everyday challenges.

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The Taniwha reviews (3)

4.5 out of 5 stars

  • Course
  • Organisation
  • Atmosphere
  • Did the Marathon Run in 2018

    My first Marathon, Tough track but throughly enjoyed the experience, will be back for sure
  • Did the 14k Trail Run/Walk in 2018

    I really enjoyed the walk. My friends and I walked together and thoroughly enjoyed the beauty of the area. The Waikato weather came as expected. Drizzle and light rain. I wore a long sleeve shirt and running shorts with running shoes and was really comfortable. There were two aid stations which were sufficient. We organised our own picnic afterwards and the trees at the parking area were plenty to protect us from the odd bit if passing weather. Husband and 8 year old son loved the 14k MTB for their first event.
  • Did the Marathon Run in 2018

    This race is always amazing. The course (even though slightly different this year from others) is always incredible - the scenery etc. Especially loved the new trail part instead of the road this year. What disappoints me is the lack of prizes. Personally, I don't care - I'm there to race, get my training in. But when I know loads of people, and most with kids, who stick around to support, and stay for prize giving and there be a massive lack of prizes is really frustrating. There are so many races out there with spot prizes so this year was hugely disappointing to hear from people about this. A bottle of beer for winning cost about $5... free to run on the river paths. So where is the money going to - start looking after the people, or they will leave, with the amount of options out there.
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