Be Set Free
- Grade: Whakaumu is an Opotiki trail that links in well to Motu Trails, it is of grade 3 standard.
- Shared use cycling, running, walking — please show courtesy.
- Distance: about 44km return trip from Opotiki via Dunes Trail. Whakaumu itself is 4km (8km return) of forest singletrack.
- Start: Taheke Road; or Waiaua church/marae, or Memorial Park, Opotiki
- No mobile coverage.
Whakaumu Track is a super ride from Opotiki, suited to more skilled riders (or to walkers/runners). At present the track has only one entrance, so it is out and back.
The track passes through sensational forest, with soaring nikau palms, beech and rimu. There are two pretty waterfalls in the first 2km. Birds include kiwi, NI robin, NI weka, kereru and more.
Below, Taheke Road takes you to Whakaumu Track.
Whakaumu Track starts at an altitude of 180m and climbs to over 300m. You may need to walk some stretches.
Whakaumu is a volunteer trail work project. We acknowledge the support of Trail Fund NZ, Ground Effect Slush Fund, Fonterra Grass Roots Fund, Opotiki individuals, Waiotahi Contractors and many other people.
To get to Whakaumu Track from Opotiki, ride the full Dunes Trail, or ride/drive east on SH35. Turn onto the Motu Road. After 1.5km (soon after the Waiaua marae/church) turn right onto Gaskill Road, then after about 800m, turn sharp left (follow signs to the track from here). Head south about 800m, before veering right onto unsealed Taheke rd (was called Block Access Road) where the climbing begins. There’s about 5.5km of gravel road from here.
Below, Taheke Road.
Taheke road does carry logging vehicles, so weekends are best. If in a car, park at the signed pull-off just before the forestry gate, which is usually locked. You are allowed to go by bike/foot past the forestry gate.
To get to the track itself, walk/ride beyond the gate to the forestry skid area (about 100m). Veer right and start up the hill. After 50m, the track start is on the right. Ride anywhere up to the 4km sign, and if you wish walk on to 5km. Return the same way.
Below, Whakaumu track passes many small streams and waterfalls.
Accommodation close to the trail
Food close to the trail
Whakaumu Track was built sometime around the 1870s, around the end of the land wars. It was a military track. We have not found any specific reference to its construction, however there was a lot of road/track work during this period. For example, the initial cutting of Ormond-Opotiki road, heading inland from nearby Omarumutu, appears to have been 1871-1877. The track was renamed Whakaumu, after a nearby peak, in 2015.