Farewell Spit LoopBeginner - Intermediate
Submitted by Stu Houston
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Front country - easily accessible
Undulating, small hills only
Beginner - Intermediate
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Park in the Carpark then the track goes onto the beach on the Golden Bay side and you run North to the junction of the start of the loop. Turn Left and run across the base of the spit to the Tasman Sea side of the spit. On the beach turn right (East) and run along the beach for approx. 3.4 km - there are no track markers, it is purely a beach run on hard sand.
When you come to a large DOC bollard sign with an arrow pointing right (South) DO NOT continue along the spit (it is a nature reserve & access is forbidden without a permit.) From here follow the marker posts over sand dunes (you gonna get sand it your shoes but just think this sand came from the Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers !!) until you arrive at the beach on the Golden Bay side. Check your tides before departure as you don't want to be here at spring high tide ! Run back to the carpark along the beach and check out all the different seabirds!
Features of interest
Immense sand spit, endless sandy beach and on the Golden Bay side large populations of sea birds. Dodge the odd whale carcass !! This is one of New Zealand's most important and diverse Nature Reserves and though this part is not in the reserve this is an incredible run and insight into what is found within it.
Make Up of Run
Untracked / Route only: 65%
Technical Single Track: 20%
Farm Road / 4WD Track: 15%
The very top of the South Island . Turn off to Farewell Spit carpark at Puponga.
The Farewell Spit Carpark is a large DOC Carpark and is safe. There is no Public Transport to here.
Make navigation of this route super-easy by using the Capra app on your phone. View on Capra .
There are no markers on the beach sections of the run so just follow your nose till you spot the DOC bollards, which can be hard to spot at low tide as beach is very wide.
Windproof jacket, First aid kit, Survival bag, Cellphone, Map.
The spit resembles a desert and it is in terms of water - take water with you.
Farewell Spit is legendary for its winds - take a wind layer it can scream here and the sand blaster will strip paint!! Take water.
Stay on track & DO NOT venture amongst the dunes, especially near the many ponds - quicksand is lurking and is bloody dangerous. Watch for the trucks that take people out to the end of the spit and follow their tracks on the beach for the hardest sand. Don't go if a spring tide as the beaches disappear and you will be lured close to the quicksand areas.
Post run indulgence
Farewell spit cafe
above the carpark
A great view of the whole spit and planty of info about the spit ohh and good food and drink.
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