Crew and Supporters

Crew and Supporter Information

Support crews are most welcome at the Tarawera Ultra Marathon. We love support crews – especially those that dress up and cheer loudly! The more people and the more enthusiastic you are – the better the atmosphere for the runners. To keep the event manageable as well as fair and safe for all runners, and to make sure support crews do not get lost, there is some information that support crews need to know.

Support crews are in for a real treat. This is a spectacular course and you’ll get to see some amazing parts of New Zealand. Please bear in mind that there will be hundreds of support crew vehicles driving and parking on narrow roads. Please keep your speed down and be careful entering and exiting all parking areas. There is absolutely no need to speed to see your runner at the next Aid Station. You have plenty of time.

There is cellphone coverage on the first 5km and the last 2km of the 100km course only. The remainder of the course is a cellphone deadzone, so you’ll be unlikely to be able to contact your runner even if they have their phone with them. There is cellphone coverage in Rotorua until you travel a few kilometres past the airport on the way to Okataina, then good coverage again at the 85/100k finish in Kawerau.

Key locations to plug into Google Maps.  
– Longmile Road, Rotorua (the race start).
– Blue Lake, Rotorua (Tikitapu aid station).
– 1303 State Highway 30 (Rotoiti Rugby Clubrooms – for Okataina shuttle).
– Waterhouse Street Kawerau (85/100k finish line and access point to the Tarawera Forest and 60km finish-line).
Please note – Tarawera Forestry roads do not appear on Google Maps.



You can view runners at the following locations.  Numbers [in red] refer to the map below:

[1]  Start at the Rotorua Redwoods
[2]  Top of the water tank on Tarawera Road.
[2] Opposite the Black House on Tarawera Road.
[4] and [5]. At the far-right of the carpark when you first arrive at Blue Lake. Runners will run along a grass strip for 200 metres so you will have an excellent viewing opportunity. You can then walk for 5 minutes to the Blue Lake aid station and view the runners again. This is a very spectator friendly zone with ample parking, toilet facilities and children’s playground.- (not shown on map). Blue Lake / Green Lake lookout. Limited space for 20-30 vehicles at this point on the southern side of the lake.

– Due to congestion NO CARS will be allowed in Okareka townshipOpposite the Black House on Tarawera Road.Opposite the Black House on Tarawera Road.


A detailed map of [4] and [5] the Blue Lake (Tikitapu) aid station is shown below.


Numbers [in red] refer to the map below.

  • From Tarawera Road (Blue Lake end of the course), travel back towards Rotorua and turn right at the roundabout.

[1] Travel 9km to the SH30 turnoff towards Whakatane.
[2] Travel 13.5km along SH30 to the Rotoiti Rugby field on the left side of the road. This will be signposted. The free shuttle bus to and from Okataina will pick you up from the rugby Clubrooms. Spectators cars will not be allowed on the narrow Okataina road.  The shuttle takes around 25 minutes each way.



[3] From the Rugby Clubrooms, turn left and continue travelling east on SH30 for 23km.Turn right and travel 6km in to Kawerau on SH34.

  • Turn right on River Road in Kawerau (just before the bridge)
  • Firmin Field on Waterhouse Street, Kawerau is your destination. This is the 85/100km finish line, and Pacer Central
  • All cars entering the Tarawera Forest must pass by the finish-line area on Waterhouse Street* Note – if you do not already have a forest permit and you wish to access these aid stations, please call into the Kawerau Information Centre on Plunket Street, Kawerau.



100/85km spectators, crew and supporters

[4] The Outlet is the first place to see your runner after the Okataina aid station. This requires a small 100 metre walk to see your runner, but has limited parking space. If you travel to the Outlet to see your runner, you will not have time to also see your runner at the larger Tarawera Falls aid station [5].
[6] Titoki. After The Outlet, you will have plenty of time to travel down the road to view your runner at Titoki. From the Titoki carpark area, you have a 1.5km walk to the aid station to see your 100km runner, or a 50 metre walk to see your 85km runner (after they have left the Titoki aid station).
[7] 300 metre walk to Fisherman’s Bridge.
[8] 200 metre walk to River Road.
[5] 60km FINISH and relay changeover. Viewing spot for 85/100km runners.

Travel to the Tarawera Falls and park at Carparks 1,2, or 3. You will need to walk in 1.4km to meet your runner.

Due to forest fire safety, some carparks are distant from aid stations. If you wish to access some of the most distant aid stations, you must be prepared to walk (remember how far your runner has to travel on foot, so no whining!). The Tarawera Forest is private land. The forest owners can prevent private cars from entering the forest on race day. This will be enforced by forest security.

Kawerau Finish Line
The Kawerau finish line is on Firmin Field, Waterhouse Street, Kawerau. This is next to the Tarawera River. You will be instructed where to park.

Tarawera Forest Permits
A forest permit is needed if you take a car into the Tarawera Forest (this includes any Aid Station between The Outlet and River Road). Runners do not need permits. Only cars. Each car will need to get a forest permit from the Kawerau Information Centre before entering the Tarawera Forest. There are three ways to do this:

  1. Fill out the form online.
  1. At registration – fill in the form in your race registration pack. There will be spare copies at race registration. You can get your permit issued at race registration.
  1. Get and complete the form at the Kawerau Information Centre on race day. You will still get a permit but it will likely take a lot longer.

If you do not have a permit, Forest Security will prevent you from entering the Tarawera Forest. Please be courteous to Forest Security on race day – they have an important job to do and it is a privilege for all of us to be able to access this land, which is both commercially and culturally important.


 Safety in the Tarawera Forest
In the Tarawera Forest slow down wherever you see cones on the road and/or flashing lights and marshals. These are high traffic volume areas or locations where runners may be present.

The Tarawera Forest is accessible only via unsealed forestry roads. They are dusty. Do not speed on these roads. Road signs will indicate runners are present.  Cars in the Tarawera Forest will encounter runners at the following places:

  • Following a long, straight forestry road, you’ll come to a bridge over the Tarawera River. Runners will exit River Road, cross over the main road at the bridge and continue along the river track.
  • A 300-400 metre section before runners make the right-hand turn to River Road.
  • A 300-400 metre section after runners have left the Titoki Aid Station and passed over the bridge.

Spectators travelling to the Tarawera Outlet will encounter runners on the upper end of Titoki Road for about 200 metres.

To avoid extreme congestion at the Tarawera Falls, we encourage 85/100 runners’ crews and 60k/relay crews to take two different routes through the Tarawera Forest.

 Warning: The forest is a multiple hazard environment

  • ALL vehicles require an access permit.
  • Fires are NOT permitted.
  • Smoking is not permitted.
  • In case of emergency call 111.
  • Unless authorised, do not cut, fell or remove any live or dead trees, shrubs or other forest produce.
  • Keep within the forest boundaries noted on your access permit.
  • Always follow instructions of any forestry security staff (from ISCL Ltd.) – be courteous.
  • If you observe any unsafe or suspicious activity (such as smoking) contact ISCL 07 347 8880.
  • Every permit holder must carry with them photographic identification along with their Access Permit.
  • All people using the forests must comply with New Zealand law.
  • Always be courteous to other forest users.
  • For further instructions and access instructions please refer to your permit.


  • Always drive to the road conditions and be prepared to stop within half the visible road distance ahead.
  • Observe the speed limits within the forest:
  • Unsealed arterial (main 2-lane) – up to 80km/hr
  • Others – up to 50km/hr.
  • The provisions of the New Zealand Road Code must be observed.
  • Keep left at all times.
  • Park safely – as far off road edges as is practicable.
  • Do not drive in a dust cloud – pull over until the dust settles.
  • Max 30km/hr in any area where runners are encountered on roads.