Crew & Spectators

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.

Cellphone coverage on the course is patchy. Please google search your phone provider’s coverage map, e.g. search for “Vodafone coverage map” to get a better idea of where you might have mobile phone coverage.

Google Maps key locations:  

– Government Gardens, Rotorua (100 Miler start-line and finish location for all distances).
– Firmin Field, Kawerau (102km start-line). Pick-up location for spectator buses into the Tarawera Forest.
– 1303 State Highway 30 (Rotoiti Rugby Clubrooms – for Okataina shuttle).
– Blue Lake, Rotorua (Tikitapu Aid Station).
– Redwoods Visitor Centre, Longmile Rd, Rotorua (Redwoods Aid Station).

You can view 102k runners at the following locations. Locations [in red] refer to the map below (please note – maps will be updated for 2019 closer to race day)

[1] The start at Firmin Field, Kawerau (102k start). Waterhouse Street, Kawerau. Please park in the designated carpark and walk across Waterhouse Street to Firmin Field.

Respecting the safety needs of the race, the private landowners and the forest managers, there is no public access to the Tarawera Forest for spectators on race day. Forest security will prevent all spectator cars from entering the forest on Saturday. We will have shuttles available for spectators, it is $20 per person and free for kids aged 15 years and under.

Spectator bus tickets will be available at the Expo on Friday and again at Firmin Field in Kawerau on Saturday morning. In Kawerau, bus tickets are cash only. Spectators Tarawera Forest buses leave from Firmin Field Kawerau, (i.e. the 102km start).

The shuttle buses to FB, TI and OU (below) leave Firmin Field in Kawerau throughout the day from 6:30am onwards. The route will be Kawerau – Fishermans Bridge – Titoki – The Outlet – Kawerau return. The buses will depart aid stations at regular intervals.

[FB] Bus stop at Fisherman’s Bridge. 500 metre walk to Fisherman’s Bridge.

[TI] Bus stop at Titoki aid station. 900 metre walk to the aid station. You’ll need to walk all the way to the Titoki aid station. The runner’s route is in red and spectators are the orange dashed line.

[OU] Bus stop at the Outlet aid station. This requires a short 100 metre walk to see your runner. If you travel to the Outlet to see your runner, you *may* not have time to also see your runner at Okataina. It depends on how fast your runner can complete the 17.2km section between The Outlet and Okataina. This is the most technical section of the course for runners and is a slight net uphill run.

[OK] Bus stop at the Okataina aid station. This requires a short 100 metre walk to see your runner. The bus pickup is the Rotoiti Rugby Clubrooms on SH30.




Places [in red] refer to the previous map.

Rotoiti Rugby Club Rooms. From Firmin Field in Kawerau, travel back towards Rotorua on State Highway 30. After about 9km (9 minutes) you’ll reach State Highway 30. Turn left here back towards Rotorua.

Travel 20.1km along SH30 to the Rotoiti Rugby field on the right 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 bus takes around 25 minutes each way.

[OK] Bus stop at the Okataina aid station. This requires a short 100 metre walk to see your runner. The bus pickup is the Rotoiti Rugby Clubrooms on SH30.

Due to congestion, NO CARS will be allowed in Okareka township.
Please park at Blue Lake parking areas. Walk (5 minutes along the waterfront) to the Blue Lake aid station which is now near Tennents Track exit. The lake is flooded in 2018 and the beach is underwater – so this is a different aid station location from previous years).


After the Blue Lake aid station, you can view your runners at:
– Black House – this is on the left hand side of the main road back to Rotorua.
– Water Tank – this is on the left hand side at the top of the hill on the main road back to Rotorua.
– Redwoods aid station – this is near the main Rotorua Redwoods Visitors Centre on Longmile Road. Everybody can run with their runner from this point to the finish. There is no limit on how many supporters can run home with their runner.



You can view and cheer on your runner at the following locations:

Sala Street Rotorua (approx. 4 km into the race) or Froude St. Rotorua (4.5km into the race).

Te Puia southern carpark (5.7km into the run).

Waipa Mtn Bike Carpark (7.6km into the run). Waipa State Mill Road.

Puarenga aid station, 15 km into the run. Northern end of 8 Mile Road, Rotorua.

Tarawera Trail Carpark at Buried Village aid station. 30.7km into the run.

Rerewhakaaitu aid station 52.7km. Ashpit Road Campsite. 949 Ashpit Road.

Travel either via Murupara or back via Rotorua to Firmin Field, Waterhouse St, Kawerau. Buses transport spectators and crew to The Outlet aid station at 84.7km.

Okataina aid station (102km). Self-drive to Lake Okataina for most crew and spectators.  However, if you arrive here before 4pm on Saturday, you may need to use the shuttle bus from Rotoiti Rugby Clubrooms to avoid congestion.

Instructions for the Blue Lake aid station, Puarenga, Redwoods and finish are described elsewhere.