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Tutaepatu Woodend Beach Circuit, Canterbury

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Tutaepatu Woodend Beach CircuitBeginner

Submitted by Anne-Louise Robertson

Info Info
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Trail Information







Urban fringe


Totally/mostly flat

Native bush


1:45 (Slow)
1:30 (Moderate)
1 (Fast)



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This route can be run in either direction. For clockwise - Start at the car park and head out towards the Holiday park. Turn right into clearly marked trail signposted 'Tutaepatu Trail 5km to Waikuku Beach'.

Follow the gravel path which runs alongside the coastal forest. The path goes through regenerating bush - good views to left to mountains. There are several options along the way to cut to the right to access the beach if you want to shorten the loop. At around 3.5km go past the settling ponds and out onto country road. You can keep going to Waikuku along the road or cut into the beach earlier and run along the beach to the surf club. Wharepaku (toilets) are available here. Take photos of the beach and the ocean - it's beautiful.

Run back along the beach. The sand is firm at mid-low tide and makes for easy running. Watch out for horses as this is beach is used Harness Racing training. It's pretty neat to see. Extend along either end for a longer run.

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Features of interest

Coastal flora and fauna. Nesting coastal birds depending on time of year. In little over two years, Tūtaepatu Lagoon, near Woodend has changed from a weed-choked waterway to an inspiring example of ecological restoration. More than 10,000 trees have been planted so far in this area and whitebait have once again been found in the waterway. Bird surveys also show a steady increase in species including the return of ruru (morepork), matuku (bittern) and korimako (bellbirds).

Make Up of Run

Easy Single Track: 90%

Gravel Road: 10%

Route Data


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Overlapping Runs

The following trails overlap with this run to some degree. You may wish to combine them but please note that to qualify for FKTs on these runs you should record a separate Strava activity for each


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Wild Explorers

I did it!
  • Access

    Woodend Beach Carpark. Turn off SH1 down Woodend Beach Road and follow to end. You will go past Woodend Christian Camp and Woodend Holiday Park.

    Well-used carpark just after the Holiday Camp.

    9 km

    10 minutes



  • Staying Safe


    Generally good.

    Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Windproof jacket, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Cellphone, Map.

    No fresh water source visible. Wharepaku (toilets) have taps but are not recommended for drinking.

    Wind and sunburn.

    Beach used for training for Harness Racing - so you may encounter fast horses!

  • Post run indulgence

    Old School Collective
    Great coffee and food. 'Bijou' shopping!

  • Blog Posts and Articles
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