Castle Rock Beginner - Intermediate
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Front country - easily accessible
Out and Back
Undulating, some big hills
Native bushOpen ridges/tops
Beginner - Intermediate
Easy to navigate. The entire trail is 12ks one way - so 24k for an out and back. 1k markers the entire way. You can stop for coffee at the turn around point at Waterworks on the 309 Road, have a rest, swim in the stream, then turn around and go back. You can also start this trail from the 309 Road entrance all the way over and back or you can just climb up to the top of the mountain if you want a shorter run (4.5k return)
There has been some logging in the forest but that just clears the view at the top which overlooks Coromandel and back to Auckland. If you take a trip up to the Rock top, you get a commanding view of Coromandel. Be careful, it's a sheer fall to the bottom on one side and no safety rails.
Features of interest
Castle Rock is a prominent peak in the Coromandel Range that lies 8.4 kilometres south-east of Coromandel town, north of a 532 metres (1,745 ft) peak also called Motutere and south of an unnamed 573 metres (1,880 ft) peak in the headwaters of the westward-flowing Pukewhau Stream.
The mountain is a volcanic plug made from remnants of solidified magma, the softer surrounding rock having been eroded away. Motutere means "floating island" a name bestowed by Ruamano, a descendent of Tama-te-kapua. Māori explorers of the area tended to travel along the hill ridges, so avoiding the thick vegetation in the sheltered valleys. Once dusk came they would seek shelter in order to avoid the patupaiarehe whom they believed inhabited these hills. The summit of Motutere would be eschewed after dark for this reason.
Make Up of Run
Gravel Road: 100%
State Highway 25 approx. 700m past the Whangapoua turn off heading toward Matarangi. On the right hand side there is a DoC fence across the road but parking enough for 2 or 3 cars at the gate. The name of the road is Castle Rock Road.
It is a very secluded run so parking has never been an issue.
Thermal leggings, Lightweight fleece top, Long-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Beanie/thermal headwear, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Cellphone, Map.
Take water with you and there is also the little shop at the turn around point that is happy to give you plenty of water if you need it.
Can be exposed to wind at the top on a cold day. Take extra layer if you feel the cold. On a hot day, best run earlier in the morning as it can be quite hot on the way home. But if you like the warm, you should be fine.
There can be larger stones in parts on the gravel road if they have been foresting. Do watch your footing in some places. The climb to the top of the rock is gnarly and wet and muddy in winter. This is an option off the main route.
Post run indulgence
Any of the cafes in coromandel
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