Submitted by Stephanie Berry
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Front country - easily accessible
Undulating, some big hills
Native bushPlantation/exotic forestCoastalOpen farmlandsVolcanic
Start on the beach front next to the toilets on Rue Brittan and head off for a wee warm up through the village. Hook a right onto Rue Jolie and then a left onto Rue Belguerie. Cross over the main street, Rue Lavaud and then stay on Rue Belguerie all the way up to Purple Peak Road ... at approx the 1.4km mark.
Turn left onto Purple Peak Road and begin your climb in earnest ... this is a hands on knees climb in places. Go past Mt Vernon Lodge and keep climbing. The road becomes shingle for about half a km then you climb a stile at the end of the road. There is a map here of all the tracks around Akaroa. You need to take the track that leads to the left marked Woodill South. You climb a stile and then descend through a paddock through the coolest gate on the planet and along the first lot of single track through a regenerating Kanuka forest. This is fast and easy in the dry with some awesome twists and turns and switchbacks. Lots of fun.
You will cross another stile at the bottom of this track and onto Rue Grehan. Go straight across the road and into Tree Crop Farm and Woodills North track. There is a large stream to cross ... you can either boulder hop/crawl or wade through ... it is reasonably deep. From here you follow the marked track up the other side of the valley. It is a gentle climb to start with a mixture of flatter sections and gets steeper as you climb. At approx 3.9kms there is a fork in the track. Take the right hand track and continue climbing for a few hundered metres.
You will then come out at the gate at the top of Tree Crop Farm. Please make sure you shut and latch the gate behind you. From here you take the left track and follow Woodills old stock route for an awesome blat down a mixture of technical and easy single track all the way to Woodills Road. This section is particularly muddy and slippery in winter but great fun when it's dry. Once you're clear of the track you turn left onto Woodills Road and your back on the tarseal. It's steep here. Follow Woodills out to main road into Akaroa, cross the road and keep going west as if you are leaving Akaroa then take the second left into the main parking area behind Jubilee Park and follow the right hand side of the road which becomes a foot path along the beach front and back to the toilets. Done!
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Make Up of Run
Technical Single Track: 24%
Easy Single Track: 33%
Gravel Road: 6%
Sealed Road: 37%
Akaroa. We start this run from behind Jubilee Park on the beach front at the end of Rue Brittan opposite the public toilets. There is usually plenty of parking here and it keeps you away from the maddening crowds at the height of summer holidays.
Make navigation of this route super-easy by using the Capra app on your phone. View on Capra .
Short-sleeved thermal top, Windproof jacket, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Cellphone, Map.
No water apart from the stream which is a drink at your own risk.
Akaroa's water is chlorinated.
Woodills down is very muddy and slippery in the winter or after heavy rains.
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