Amongst the spectators, local creatures such as wetas, tuis and huhus inhabit the forest clad tracks of the world class Tarawera Ultra.

Cicadas join the supporters to cheer on those who have the grit and determination to compete in the 21km, 50km, 102km or 100 mile Endurance Run.

Yes. 100 miles.

It’s an event not for the faint hearted. Nor the sort-of fit.


Ultra marathons in NZ

Competitors are spoilt for choice when it comes to picking an ultra marathon in NZ. And because of the time, distance and cost involved with getting to each event it means those who’ve got what it takes only enter 1 or 2 a year. Which for event organisers means an incredibly competitive industry. On and off the trail.

Asides from the Tarawera Ultra, 10 of the most popular ultra marathon events in NZ are:

  1. Mt Ruapehu Volcanic Ultra
  2. The Revenant Ultra Run
  3. Great Lake Relay
  4. Alps to Ocean
  5. South Island Ultra Marathon
  6. Taupo Ultra Marathon
  7. WUU-2K Ultra Marathon
  8. Valley Ultra Marathon
  9. The Great Kauri Run
  10. Queen Charlotte Ultra Marathon


What makes the Tarawera Ultra a favourite for marathon fanatics?

The event which is based in Rotorua not only hugs the shores of its namesake lake. The trail also takes runners on an adventure through bush and culturally signficant sites to six other lakes and waterfalls.

Part of the Ultra-Trail World Tour, the event belongs to a collection of challenging courses that take competitors to unique part of the globe.

Ethics, equality in sports, self respect, respect for others and the environment, are the values common across all events on the circuit.

To be part of the Ultra-Trail World Tour, organisers must also be able to rally a minimum of 500 entrants. Ironman who now run the event look well placed to smash this target with 1200 kiwis and 800 internationals coming to Rotorua to take part.

Stella scenary combined with such numbers enable great sponsorship, which results in an incredible atmosphere and incentive for more runners to enter. Which year on year leads to bigger and better things.

This is why the Tarawera Ultra in all its magic is one of the top marathon events hosted in NZ and the world.

And why Expandasign are proud to be a supplier of portable outdoor signage for the event.

Are you organising and event?