An epic "festival atmosphere" is set to greet Tarawera Ultramarathon finishers on February 11, 2017, with course changes that will see all distances including the 62km, 87km and 102km, finish together in Firmin Field, Kawerau.

With more than 1300 runners already signed up to the event, race director Tim Day said the course changes were vital due to the growth in popularity of the event and will improve the course for everyone.

"The 62km distance historically finished at the Tarawera Falls, however in the past nine years of operation, the race has grown so much in popularity that this area is literally bulging at the seams," he said.

"At the 2016 event, supporters battled for a spot to view their runners finish, and with limited access, the 2km walk to the car park added a cruel twist for runners who had just run one and a half marathons.

"By moving the 62km start line to the Western Okataina Walkway start, runners and their support crew will receive a well-deserved finish line celebration, with food, entertainment, ample parking and recovery facilities."

Day said the start line in the Redwoods Forest is a spectacle in itself, with the world's best runners, lighting and cultural performances bringing the darkness of the forest to life.

"We don't want the 62km athletes to miss out on this experience, so free shuttles will transport runners and supporters from the Redwoods to Okareka start line, once the 85km and 102km athletes start," he said.

In addition to capturing the best scenery of the region, the course changes have also increased the safety of the event by diverting runners away from sealed roads and vehicles.

Day added by changing the course, a new 62km two-person relay is also now available, with entries opened on Tuesday while the 87km and 102km courses have minor changes throughout, and take advantage of the new Lake Okareka trail that follows the lake edge.

"At roughly 30km each, the new relay is a great opportunity for runners to take part in one of the world's most prestigious trail runs - without the crazy distance," he said.

Now in its ninth year, the Tarawera Ultramarathon has become a bucket list run for athletes around the world, with more than half the field from overseas, representing over 40 countries.

The event is also part of the Ultra-Trail World Tour, a series of the 12 most prestigious ultra-running races in the world.