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Cape Foulwind, West Coast

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Cape FoulwindBeginner

Submitted by Katie Smith

Info Info
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Trail Information





West Coast


Front country - easily accessible


Undulating, small hills only

Native bush


1:45 (Slow)
1:05 (Moderate)
0:50 (Fast)



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Start at the Cape Foulwind car park and head up the obvious well-maintained track. This heads past the lighthouse then follows the clifftops along past the seal colony (stop and see how many you can spot) before gradually descending to Tauranga Bay. Run through the carpark here and down onto the beach. Have a look for surfers on the waves.

At the far end of the beach hop back up onto the tar seal and follow it along the coastline. It stops after a short distance, and here you can pick up a rough track that continues on along round the headland. Continue on this until you reach a little cove with a double archway eroded out of the rocks - head under it and have a look around. This is a good turnaround point if you want to keep running, as from here it is more scrambling over rocky headland, but if this is your thing keep going as far as you like! Otherwise, turn around and retrace your steps.

On the way back look out for a smaller track on the left that descends steeply towards the point at the end of the big rocky bay - you can see the track at the bottom from the top walkway, and there is a small sign marking it. Drop down, then head right - this follows the headland at a lower level, before becoming a 4WD track for a short distance just before joining up with the road to the carpark. Head right when you meet this and you are back at your car.

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Features of interest

The seal colony near the south end of the track is well worth a stop.

Make Up of Run

Technical Single Track: 5%

Moderate Single Track: 10%

Easy Single Track: 85%

Route Data


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Wild Explorers

I did it!
  • Access

    Park in the Cape Foulwind DoC carpark at the north end of the walkway, off Lighthouse Road

    Plenty of parking with public toilets.

    14 km

    13 minutes



  • Staying Safe



    Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Cellphone, Map.

    None available

    Exposed to the wind on the cliffs, and to the sea on the coastal rocks (big surf at times)

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