Muriwai Beach and TrailBeginner
Submitted by Reuben McGregor
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This is a great short loop. Just be aware that Muriwai beach and Maori bay, as well as the reserves, can get very busy in the summer and on weekends. My favourite starting point is in Maori bay car park, as it is half way in terms of elevation, so there is still some up and some down to do from here. However there are several car-parks along the route, some down gravel roads (end of coast road) and some on sealed road (Muriwai beach car park.) If you want to go up first (as I tend to do) start running out the car park the way you entered until you hit Waitea Road, which you will have driven up to get to Maori Bay car park. Cross the road carefully (there are some blind corners here) and head left down the hill. About 50m down the road look out for Quarry Road track on your right and head up the trail into the bush.
You will come to a T junction on the trail - take a left onto the "lookout" track and follow this until you hit the end of the trail and emerge onto Domain Cr sealed road. Turn left and keep your eyes peeled for a left turn down what may seem like someones driveway, as the road peels right. Take the left and immediately turn right down the steps between houses. When you come out onto Motutara Road (sealed again) cross the road carefully and turn right and head up the hill.
You will then turn first left (about 800m up the road) onto Coast Road. Just after the tennis courts on your left you will run across a small dirt car park. In the far left corner run into the entrance to a trail "Coast Road Track". Keep following this track (across a few other tracks leading to the beach) keeping the golf course to your left. After about 1.5k you will come to a dirt car park with an information board at the far left corner. Keep following the path behind the information board all the way over the sand dunes to the beach.
Now you are on the beach turn left and run wherever you want (I find it easiest to run on the wet sand, depending on tide) back towards the Gannet colony. You can follow the beach all the way to the rocks, or on your left there is a small entrance onto a track just behind the sand dunes - it is just under a km after getting onto the beach. Follow this track until you hit the rocks at the other end of the beach and exit the beach to the left into the car park. Turn right and run towards the sea down onto some rocks and up the steps that are at the end of the rocks. Careful at high tide and in big swell also of this part can be wet and you may get sprayed with seawater, but generally it is completely fine. Keep following the trail round to the left (feel free to take some of the right's off to see the garnet colony) until you re-emerge at the car park at Maori bay.
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Features of interest
A combination of beach, native bush and road, really packs a lot into a short run.
Make Up of Run
Technical Single Track: 20%
Moderate Single Track: 20%
Easy Single Track: 40%
Sealed Road: 20%
Head to Muriwai and take Waitea road down to the beach, then take a sharp left into the Maori Bay car park, where tourists may be piling off the bus to see the Gannet colony in the summer. The route starts here and can be taken in either direction
Safe car parking, can get very busy if the surf is good, as this route goes through Muriwai beach you can also park in Muriwai beach car parking
Make navigation of this route super-easy by using the Capra app on your phone. View on Capra .
Windproof jacket, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Cellphone, Map.
This is a short run so really not necessary, but there is a Cafe at Muriwai beach called "Sand Dunz"
Parts muddy after rain, and big swell can make parts hazardous. See full description for details
The steps down to Motutara Road can be very slippery in the wet - take care!