Baring It AllBeginner
Submitted by Joe Benbow
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Front country - easily accessible
Undulating, some big hills
BeachCoastalOpen farmlandsOpen ridges/tops
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Starting at the car park, cross the bridge and turn left, following the grassy track along the river and past the historic pump shed. Up a short hill, you'll cross a fence and then turn right up to the gravel road.
At this junction you can take a left down and onto the beach for a run out to the climbing boulders. Once you've had your fill of boulder hopping, head back to the junction and continue on up the hill (Main track) to the signpost that points toward the lighthouse. This grassy area doesn't have a well-formed track as such so just follow your nose and keep an eye out for the orange triangle markers (some of which have been blown over).
At the lighthouse complex there is a sheltered picnic area and toilet. Exit the lighthouse complex the way you entered then aim for the top of the hill (again follow the orange markers) and you should see the sign for the Para trig.
Enjoy the panaromic views from the top and try not to get blown over! From here, you follow the fenceline north until it joins the gravel road.
There is an optional short trail the other side of the road which takes you to another lookout, whether or not you take this, you then follow the gravel road back downhill to the car park.
Features of interest
Baring Head lighthouse is the second to last manned lighthouse to be built in New Zealand and automated in 1989. Baring Head was once an important source for mahinga kai (traditional food gathering) and there are many related historic sites. More recent features include World War II lookout posts and the Baring Head lighthouse cottages.
Make Up of Run
Untracked / Route only: 50%
Easy Single Track: 40%
Gravel Road: 10%
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Baring Head / East Harbour Regional Park car park towards the south end of Coast Road. 15 minutes drive south from Wainuiomata. No public transport.
Plenty of parking available but car park can be quiet at times so keep valuables locked away
Green signs and orange markers are plentiful but the wind has blown some of the posts down in places so look on the ground if an orange marker post isn't obviously visible
Long-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Windproof jacket, Gloves, Beanie/thermal headwear, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Cellphone.
No water sources so take what you need
Be prepared for wind - on the beach if a southerly and at the trig/ridge if a norwester.
The lighthouse complex area is open to the public but building work is still underway so please take care.
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