Okarito MajestyBeginner - Intermediate
Submitted by Tony Sharpe
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Back country - remote
Undulating, small hills only
Beginner - Intermediate
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In good weather the view from the Okarito Trig is arguably the greatest view in NZ. Uninterrupted views of all the highest peaks of the Southern Alps across vast swathes of West Coast forest and then the stunning wild Tasman Sea crashing at your feet.
Start at the DOC carpark across a short stretch of boardwalk and then head into the bush. The track steadily ascends following the old pack track route, and soon a junction is reached. Take the uphill option and after a short sweet steepish uphill on great trail you'll reach the trig and be rewarded with views to die for, should the weather allow. On a clear sunny day you will want to linger here and take lots of photos.
Return from the trig back to the junction and follow the remainder of the pack track as it undulates its way south to Three Mile Lagoon. Drop down to the water's edge where there's another opportunity for gobsmacking views of the mountains from the rugged Tasman Sea coastline.
Return trip is either back the same way, or if you are a couple of hours either side of low tide it's highly recommended to follow the beach back, at the foot of cliffs. Its a magnificent section of untouched wild coastline, and totally worth the extra technical bits. But make sure you have the tides right - it is impassable otherwise.
Thoroughly recommend staying in Okarito at the Campground or at the Old Schoolhouse which is bookable through DOC. Its a wonderful place to decompress, explore and there are some astounding sunsets here.
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Features of interest
Best view in NZ!
Iconic vistas across the Southern Alps
A gem of coastline explorations
Make Up of Run
Untracked / Route only: 50%
Moderate Single Track: 25%
Easy Single Track: 25%
Okarito is signposted from just north of Franz Josef, 10km down Forks Road between Lake Wahapo and Lake Mapourika
DOC carpark at the trailhead
Easy to follow trail, but the coastline is not marked if you come back that way
Short-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Windproof jacket, Gloves, Beanie/thermal headwear, Personal Locator Beacon (PLB), Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Cellphone, Map.
Open year round. Being the West Coast it is known to rain a bit sometimes!
As mentioned the coast section only works 2 hours either side of low tide. Otherwise just come back on the trail
Post run indulgence
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