Karekare LoopBeginner - Intermediate
Submitted by Dan Boulton
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Front country - easily accessible
Undulating, some big hills
Native bushBeachCoastalOpen ridges/tops
Beginner - Intermediate
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Follow Mercer Bay Loop track from the north west side of car park. Follow this along the cliffs, past the look outs, dropping down and back up to Ahu Ahu Track. Turn right here for about 300m, and then turn right on Comans Track. This again traverses the high cliffs all the way down into Karekare, some great look out advantages. At the bottom of the hill turn left - a short section of sandy trail leads to a gravel driveway and out to the road - turn right here towards the main Karekare car park.
Once in Karekare, head across the bridge and turn right into the Pohutakawa Glade track out onto the beach, turn south down the beach following the walk track signs for about 3.5km. You will go through a tunnel, back onto the beach and then back towards the hills over a large sand dune towards Pararaha Valley.
After across the wet land, turn left onto Buck Taylor Track and climb up to Zion Ridge Track. Note, half way up Buck Taylor DON'T turn left onto Zion Hill Track, this is the short cut option, instead continue straight ahead uphill. Turn left onto Zion Ridge Track and follow all the way down to Karekare. From here you can go and visit the Karekare Waterfall if you want. Head back through Karekare the way you came, heading back towards Comans Track. You can either follow this all the way back to the carpark, or alternatively you can take Ahu Ahu Track back up to the carpark. Ahu Ahu is a gradual 4WD track (without views) versus the steep and technical Comans Track. They both join up again and you can then follow Mercer Bay Loop Track back to the car park.
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Features of interest
One of my favourites in the Waitakeres. Amazing views above the cliffs of Mercer Bay. Big technical climbs, beach time and lovely bush tracks. Great look outs to stop at. Option to deviate off to visit Karekare Falls, add an extra 15-20 min.
Make Up of Run
Untracked / Route only: 10%
Technical Single Track: 40%
Moderate Single Track: 30%
Easy Single Track: 20%
Park at the carpark at the end of Log Race Rd at the top of the hill above Piha.
Lots of parking and toilet at carpark.
Short-sleeved thermal top, Windproof jacket, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Cellphone, Map.
Nil, carry your own.
Good all year round track. Can get muddy on Buck Taylor/Zion sections.
Post run indulgence
Piha Beach Cafe
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