Whitford Coastal Trail Loop Beginner
Submitted by Brad Stewart
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Front country - easily accessible
Undulating, small hills only
Starting from the Henson Road entrance you will run a significant part of the trail on hard packed DOC style (wide) trails. Really well kept trail and no technical sections at all. I very rarely ever see anyone else out there but if I do they are usually riding horses so beware of the horse poo!
During the first third of the trail you will follow a beautiful Auckland coastline and at low tide, be sure to run out on the beach flats which seem to go forever! And you will see a uniquely different angled view of Rangitoto. There are sections next to the rural roads but it's still DOC style tracks, so will never be on pavement or road.
From Whitford Beach end you follow really well kept 4x4 farm type trail winding through the back end of rural properties overlooking the ocean. You can never really go wrong as it is all self explanatory and "follow your nose" type trails.
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Features of interest
The trail winds through some of the most lavish and beautiful estates in Auckland. You will also run by horses, sheep, goats and a few cows but beware, on a still day it gets a bit stinky with the cow poo smell. If you love wildlife you will probably see a range of birdlife on the coastal and bush areas and I've even seen fish life. At the Whitford carpark end there are rare bird nesting areas roped off.
Make Up of Run
Technical Single Track: 0%
Easy Single Track: 40%
Farm Road / 4WD Track: 40%
Gravel Road: 20%
Sealed Road: 0%
There are a few different start points you could choose from but I prefer the Henson Road start point as there is never any other cars and it feels like a good start / stop point due to the easy entrance. However you could use Whitford Beach / Turangi Creek entrance if preferred which is an easy find on Google Maps. The Henson Road entrance is exactly #50 Henson Road and again is easily Googled if you want to see the entrance from street view. However is super easy to locate and is only 200m off the main road - Whitford - Maraetai Road.
The Henson Road entrance has parking for only 2-3 cars safely without being on the road (which is rural).The area is very safe and I have never had reason to feel that it was not a safe area.I would not rely on any public transport to get to this point. There are buses from the Howick / Botany region to Beachlands but would not utilise this option as they are not frequent outside of school runs. Henson Road sits roughly between Whitford and Beachlands.
Make navigation of this route super-easy by using the Capra app on your phone. View on Capra .
The only point that I will note is that when you come off the trail (that continues from Whitford Beach access) the road is Potts Road. When the trail hits Potts Road go right then after about 1.5km turn left on to Clifton Road for about 600m then left back on to Henson Road which will lead back to your car.
Short-sleeved thermal top, Windproof jacket, Cellphone, Map.
No availability for water refills i.e. no shops, no fresh water running etc
This is an all season country trail
The whole trail is shared with horse riders. I've run this many times and usually sees horses nearly every time.
Post run indulgence
The Stables Whitford
Its the only pub nearby unless you venture out to Beachlands which you would visit Franklins. But the Stables is a great little pub with excellent craft beer and snacks. Great location also.
Lime Tree Cafe Whitford
730 Whitford Road, Whitford, Auckland 2571
Excellent setting, private and a real homely feeling. Kid friendly and a great cafe menu - excellent coffee