Everything but the Gun RangeBeginner
Submitted by Will Prosor
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Undulating, some big hills
Native bushCoastalOpen farmlandsOpen ridges/tops
Upon entering the trail through the clearly marked gate, you want to stay going straight up the stairs, only stopping on the left detour to see the waterfall if you so choose. This will be the busiest section of the trail, and expect to see many young families.
After this, you will continue through stunning native bush until the climb to the summit. After washing your shoes again, make your way directly up towards the lone tree, then diagonal to the fence gate on the summit. From there, feel free to detour to the lookout for great views, or continue down the farm road edging the army base. Follow the road down to the second dip, and cut left down the mown grass to hug the treeline.
Feel free to stop here for an ocean view on the left detour, or continue up the dirt road past the gun embankment. Grind up the hill staying to the left side on the treeline, ignoring the gravel road dropping away to the right. Continue until the marker after the second fence crossing, and drop down into the clearly marked bush entrance.
At the bottom, turn right, then run down the road on the left. Don't take the road up, but instead run past the visitor center and take the second trail on your right, near the small wooden bridge. Cross the road at the top, and traverse down towards the pest proof fence where you exit. Follow the trail up to the main road entrance, where you will enter through the pest proof fence one last time. Wash your feet once more, and then head left. Turn left at the T, and enjoy the last little downhill back to your car.
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Features of interest
A wildlife sanctuary with a huge range of New Zealand birds. Noteworthy stops are the waterfall which is accessible on both the out and the back as a small detour. Views up at the top are worth a stop, and if run at night the Tiritiri lighthouse lights up your run from time to time.
If you are very lucky/unlucky they will be test shooting at the firing range next to the park, which can add to some additional flavor to the trail to say the least. This run is fantastic at night with a headlamp, and the bird life really comes alive. It can be shockingly loud with the nocturnal calls, and kiwi sightings are not rare. Keep an eye out for the flash of metal on their leg, the easiest way to spot them in the night.
Make Up of Run
Untracked / Route only: 0%
Technical Single Track: 0%
Moderate Single Track: 30%
Easy Single Track: 30%
Farm Road / 4WD Track: 30%
Gravel Road: 5%
Sealed Road: 5%
Through the pest proof fence, make sure to wash your shoes.
Tons of parking directly outside the entrance point.
Short-sleeved thermal top, Windproof jacket, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Cellphone, Map.
Water only at the public bathrooms 2/3 of the way through the run.
Ridge can be very windy as it is the most easterly part of the peninsula, but only for the top kilometre at most.
Careful of others on the trail, on several occasions I have had entire groups which refuse to step aside so an occasional polite but firm 'excuse me' early in the trail may be necessary. A popular short walk with easy car access, so be aware of crowd potential during busy periods.
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