Added by Alex Tande
Hiking along the ridge line on the coast overlooking the ocean on one side and the rolling pasture lands the other offers a great spot to spend an afternoon. Plenty of open places to sit down with a lunch and book and enjoy it all.
From the car park, it is only about a 10 minute walk up to the look out point for Cape Farewell. While this is a cool view, it is not worth the drive to just turn around at that point. From the viewing platform, there is a track that goes both left and right, climbing along the ridge line and tops of the cliffs along the waters edge.
I started going to the right first, climbing up the hills, always aiming at the next marker (generally a piece of wood painted red straight up). Working your way up and down along the edge of a steep cliff face is remarkable. I went as far as the fence along the top of the cliff. The view on the other side of the fence is an epic rocky coastline with caves at the sea level and the green grass and forest above it. The trail does continue, all the way to the Pillar Point lighthouse if you wish. I turned back at the fence, back past the viewing platform, and continued to the let of it. The left offers a different type of scenery. Different points take you further over the water, allowing you to look down onto beaches that are unreachable by land. Seals and their pups were playing in the surf was we walked above them. The trail goes all the way to Wharariki Beach viewing spot. Didn't go all the way towards the beach, but stopped at a place where the beach and the Archway Islands were clear. Once again, sat down and took it all in!
The distance and the elevation gain are rough estimates. There is no flat part at all on this hike. You are either going up, or going down. Some of the hills were quite steep indeed. Nothing technical, but be aware. Depending on how far you go in either direction will affect the about of elevation gain and the distance obviously.
- Comfortable walking shoes
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