Take Rotorua’s remarkable scenery, add a cultural heritage that’s been nurtured for hundreds of years, drop in over 1000 local and international runners, and you’ve got a trail running experience like no other. Starting at Te Puia’s world-famous Pohutu Geyser, shooting 30 metres into the air, the Tarawera Trail Marathon and 50km and the recently added Tikitapu Trail Run, with 16km and 23km options, begins with a traditional Māori kapa haka performance to ignite fire in the belly.
A spectacular point-to-point race from geyser to volcano, the event takes runners along one of New Zealand’s most important historical routes, retracing the reverse journey of the Tūhourangi people, who were forced to flee their home during the Mount Tarawera eruption in 1886.
From Te Whakarewarewa Geothermal Valley, participants make their way through the Hemo Gorge following Puarenga Stream, along the shores and hidden corners of Rotokakahi (Green Lake) and over private land to make it to the homeward stretch along the Tarawera Trail – all the while witnessing stunning views of five lakes – Lake Rotorua, Lake Rotokakahi, Lake Tikitapu (Blue Lake), Lake Tarawera and Lake Rotomahana. At the finish line, the cool waters of Lake Tarawera beckon runners for a refreshing dip while the hot mineral waters of Hot Water Beach soothe sore muscles, before a scenic boat and bus ride escort participants back home.