RUNNERS ROUTE GUIDE TO THE HILLARY TRAIL
Prepared by Shaun Collins
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It would seem that the marker posts that show the route of the Hillary Trail (“HT”) are in hot demand. As fast as the Council tries to replace missing marker posts, they disappear again. So this guide is meant provide a “failsafe” description of the HT route so you do not need to rely on specific HT marker posts. Sorry, it’s not 100% guaranteed as some people just can’t be helped but I reckon 96.3% guaranteed. I’d rather people had fun and enjoyed the trail rather than had navigational nightmares that add distance and worry to an already big mission!
There are two ways to do the HT – South to North starting at Arartaki and finishing at Muriwai or the opposite North to South starting at Muriwai and finishing at Arataki. Debate still rages as to which is better and both have pros and cons. I think it’s agreed that the North to South direction has net more climb and finishes with some of the bigger hills and the dreaded Hamilton track. I don’t think anyone has done a fair comparative run of both routes in a similar state of fitness and track conditions but I think it comes down to personal preference. The official route is intended to go South to North so this guide will start with that.
Now that that one is done the plan is to do:
- A cut down version without maps with just basic instructions
- A Muriwai to Arataki guide
- A Support Crew guide