A Slice of the SouthBeginner
Submitted by Mike Tennent
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A great short(er) alternative to a full 61km Hump Ridge Track run.
Starting from the Hump Ridge trail carpark head 300m back down the road to the entry to the trail. You will see from the sign here that the trail along the coast is actually the South Coast Track all the way to Port Craig. Straight away you will drop into lovely bush trail which winds its way along the clifftop giving the occasional glimpse. After about 2.5km there is a rapid decent down to sea level and then more trail through to the big swingbridge at about 3km.
Once over the swingbridge follow the road past the houses and then you have a choice... you can follow the road/track for a bit further before a sign points you onto the beach... or if the tide is out hit the beach straight away. Then follow the beach for about 2.5km. Eventually you will see a large orange traingle to your right and about 100 metres further a DOC and Hump Ridge sign. You could turn around here or carry on another 100 metres or so and over a second much smaller swingbridge. If the tide is right in you can run the 4WD track pretty much the whole distance - although this would work better in summer as it can get very wet and boggy in winter.
Of course, you have the option to run further before heading back if you wish!
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Make Up of Run
Untracked / Route only: 0%
Technical Single Track: 0%
Moderate Single Track: 20%
Easy Single Track: 70%
Farm Road / 4WD Track: 5%
Gravel Road: 5%
Sealed Road: 0%
Starts from the Rarakau Car Park which is the start of the Hump Ridge Trail and pretty well signposted from Tuatapere. If you are in any doubt there is a Hump Ridge info centre in the main street of Tuatapere and they can give detailed instructions.
Plenty of parking, but it is isolated so I wouldn't leave valuables in the car.
When you cross the first swingbridge there are a few roads and tracks, take the main one that heads slightly right of straight until you are past the houses... there is no signage here.
Windproof jacket, Beanie/thermal headwear, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Cellphone, Map.
There are many streamlets running down to the beach in winter, although I seem to remember a lot less in summer. However you cross the river and a couple of other streams that should be there year round.
In the middle of winter the 4WD track was very wet and boggy and there were many streamlets onto the beach, but these were largely easy to avoid and I kept my feet dry.
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