Ataturk to Pass Of Branda LoopBeginner - Intermediate
Submitted by Tony Sharpe
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Beginner - Intermediate
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This is a nice exploration of the eastern end of Wellington's wild and amazing south coast. On a nice day it's like running in the Mediterranean, but of course Wellington's fickle climate can also make this a savage and windswept place - most exhilarating!
From the carpark its a quick trot up a few stairs to the Ataturk Memorial. Pause and think of the ANZAC's here, this is a special place. Then carry on up the hill on the Eastern Walkway track system and soon you'll see some of those wonderful views. On a good day the views across Cook Strait will give you snowcapped Kaikoura mountains, a real treat.
Keep traversing the undulations along the Eastern Walkway as you travel through patches of flax, regenerating coastal bush and open trail. Ignore the side trails to streets, these are just easy access for the locals to come for a walk. Towards the end you will skirt under the historic Beacon Hill Signal Station. The author's grandfather worked here for many years, and was on duty for many a stormy day to help guide ships into Wellington Harbour. Sadly this station also gave sobering views of the stricken Wahine on that fateful day in 1968. You can see clearly Barretts Reef from here where the ship hit the rocks at her darkest hour.
Once under the Signal Station shoot through some pines and down the stairs to the road at the exotically named Pass Of Branda. The Pass of Branda was named after the apparently well-known pass at the head of Loch Ave in the Argyll and Bute area of Scotland. From the Pass either return on the trail the same way or take a relaxing road run around the bays back to the car. But mind the nude sunbathers at Breaker Bay beach, and the little blue penguins crossing at dusk
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Features of interest
Wonderful coastal scenery, WW1 memorial, Beacon Hill Signal Station
Make Up of Run
Moderate Single Track: 30%
Easy Single Track: 20%
Sealed Road: 50%
Ataturk Memorial carpark at the western end of the Eastern Walkway
Theres a decent amount of carparking and some extra over at the boat lauching place sometimes too. Otherwise down the road by the Wahine Memorial reserve is cool
Make navigation of this route super-easy by using the Capra app on your phone. View on Capra .
Can't really go wrong, unless you exit onto the side streets off the Eastern Walkway. Retrace your steps to the main trail if you do
Lightweight fleece top, Windproof jacket, Beanie/thermal headwear, Whistle, First aid kit, Cellphone, Map.
You won't need too much, its a short run. But BYO!
Did I mention Wellingtons wind? Its not really seasonal, its year round!
Cars on the road
Post run indulgence
Pop round to the Maranui at Lyall Bay afterwards for a debrief
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