Pukerua Scenic TuaIntermediate
Submitted by Mick Finn
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Front country - easily accessible
Undulating, some big hills
Native bushBeachCoastalOpen farmlandsOpen ridges/tops
The track across the top is on private farmland and there is no access from 20 August to 15 October due to lambing.
Best to go at low tide, as the final section along the coast can be very hard to sidle around at high tide.
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Easy road start heading along Teihana Road W and then Rawhiti Road towards the sea. Follow the steps down at the end of the road and then veer left (a south) along the coast, first road and then singletrack past the pau/post. The track varies from easy singletrack to rough but mostly stays just above the rocky beach amongst the scrub. The rock arch is on the track and worth a pic.
The track runs out at Wairaka Point where you follow the rocky beaches past the rock pyramids, scrambling past a small cave - this can be tricky at high tide, and very easy at low tide. From here you need to look for the small stream hidden in the scrub about 100 m on from the cave. There used to be an easy track along the stream to the mossy waterfall but it is often washed out at the base and/or covered by small land slips.
Once you get to the waterfall the track/route continues up the steep ridge and rejoins the stream just before some windswept Dr Seuss looking tress. Here, the route finding starts - you head north keeping above the steep terrain and gradually sidling up the hills using sheep tracks where possible. After a few hundred metres you can see where you’ve come from and the way back along the hills is easy to see.
There is a rough farm track for a short section approaching the highest point before dropping down to the fence line along the top of the cliffs. At the final fence crossing into native bush (Raroa Reserve) look for the track leading down to the right which is easy to run and leads down to Raroa place (with a quick photo stop detour to the lookout early on).
Turn left along Raroa place then first right down a side street to Rawhiti Road, right again to follow it back to the shops.
Features of interest
This walk includes a rock arch, Wairaka Point (possibly a seal or two), a hidden waterfall, and spectacular views of Kapiti Island and the Kapiti Coast to the north. It varies from roads to rough singletrack and rocky beach to steep farm hills and a pleasant singletrack downhill through native forest.
Make Up of Run
Untracked / Route only: 40%
Technical Single Track: 12%
Moderate Single Track: 12%
Easy Single Track: 6%
Sealed Road: 30%
Pukerua Bay Shops.
You can either take the train to Pukerua Bay station and walk two minutes to the start at the shops, or drive to the carpark at the dairy on the highway.
Hardest point is the turnoff from the coast up to the waterfall - but once you pass the cave there is only one obvious gully, about 10pm on. If you miss the turnoff you will just be on rocky beach (very hard going) for the next 1-2 km and then 5 km of road to Plimmerton. The untracked route back is easy on a clear day if you aim for the patch of native bush by sidling up and along the hills and then on the final stretch down some steep farm hills.
Windproof jacket, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Cellphone, Map.
Some at the toilets on the beach about 1.2 km in.
Need hat in summer as not much shelter for 95% of the way. Need wind/water proof jacket as the route is very exposed to the norwester, especially on the second half.
Seals may be loitering near Wairaka Point at the midpoint. The open hills can be rough underfoot.
Post run indulgence
Pukerua Bay Dairy
Scoops of ice-cream on a hot day post-run are perfect.
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