Karekare Beach

Karekare & Whatipu

In which Miles sets out from Karekare to walk the Zion Hill – Pararaha Valley – Tunnel Point – Beach Circuit and gets mired down in the Whatipu swamp.

You can view the full gallery of 21 pictures below.  To view on imgur, click here.

I used the Walks at Piha page again to choose a walk.  It indicates that Karekare Point must be rounded at low tide, so I decided to do the walk in the opposite direction.

View from Karekare Beach carpark
View from Karekare Beach carpark

From Karekare Beach I followed the Pohutukawa Glade Walk.  There is some nice bushy scenery on the way to Karekare Beach.

Pohutukawa Glade Walk
Pohutukawa Glade Walk
Pohutukawa Glade Walk
Pohutukawa Glade Walk
Karekare Beach
Karekare Beach

It was a sunny day, and the beach looked great.

Karekare Beach
Karekare Beach
Karekare Beach
Karekare Beach
Karekare Beach
Karekare Beach
Karekare Beach
Karekare Beach

The Walks at Piha page indicates that there is no official track on part of the walk, but it doesn’t tell you what to expect.  I was later told by someone working for the Auckland Council that this track is a problem in winter due to the small lakes that form on the beach in the wetter months.

Just south of where I entered Karekare Beach there is a sign indicating that you are entering the Whatipu Scenic Reserve.  This brought back memories of the difficulties I had navigating Whatipu Beach.  But I forged on hoping for the best.

Coastal swamp
Coastal swamp

Knowing about the need to round Karekare Point at low tide, I decided that following the beach would be best, as opposed to staying close to the hills.  I decided to cut through bush covered dunes to get to the coast, and this quickly became dense and swampy.  It actually looks quite beautiful in the picture above.  But it slowed me down a lot.  From a higher dune I could see that even at the coast, my way was blocked unless I chose to wade.

Coastal swamp
Coastal swamp and lakes
Karekare-Whatipu-DSC_1974
Coastal swamp and lakes

I stopped and had lunch.  It had taken me a couple of hours to get this far, although I didn’t actually feel like I had gotten very far.  With just a little over 2 hours of daylight left, I decided I’d have to head back and try again another day.  I could see the lighthouse at Whatipu Beach in the distance.  But I was not even sure whether I had passed Karekare Point.  And I could see no clear way forward.

Coastal swamp with Whatipu landmarks in the distance
Coastal swamp with Whatipu landmarks in the distance

I got myself out of the bushy parts, and enjoyed the beach on my long walk back.

Karekare Beach
Karekare Beach
Karekare Beach
Karekare Beach

I’ll try this walk again in the summer.

Karekare Beach
Karekare Beach
Karekare Beach
Karekare Beach

You can view the full gallery of 21 pictures below.  To view on imgur, click here.

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