Cape Farewell Track

One day in Golden Bay including the clifftop walk around Cape Farewell, a stroll on Wharariki Beach, silly seal pups and a stop at Puponga Farm Park. All within 10 hours, a great outing!

From the Pillar Point carpark up the lighthouse track, then turning West on the Cape Farewell Track, descending to Wharariki down to the western end and back, the farmtrack to the camp and the rest on the road back to the car.
First loo and coffee stop at the Courthouse Café in Collingwood, such a beautiful old house.
… and the turmeric latte rocks!
Pillar Point Track up the hill, quite a start to a uniqe clifftop track.
At the crossing to the Southwest, now it’s going towards Cape Farewell lookout.
“The area consists of a broad anticlinal structure trending NNE and slopes gently westward and northward toward the sea. It is a cuesta-like block of country of complexly folded sub-metamorphic and metamorphic slates and 5 schists intruded by massive fine-grained granites, and unconformably covered with gently tilted terrestrial conglomerates and finer marine sediments.” (Source: Ongley and Macpherson 1923)
The undulating terrain forces the track up and down, along the cliffs.
Green grass, with and without sheep, sharp, steep cliffs, deep down – beaches, some of which are populated by seals.
A single male calf standing in front of a wind trained bush line. Very rough, we’re lucky to have such good weather, almost devoid of wind entirely.
My walking buddy, making her way over a fence.
From the track in the direction of the spit (which hides behind the cliffs)
Hah, here it is!
An “eye of the mountain” as my parents would call these little creeks without a stream attached. And a small red barn in the distance.
Cape Farewell, we did it!
The coast. To the very left: The Wharariki Ecosanctuary, a three-hectare bird sanctuary behind a 200-metre predator-proof fence, came into existence in 2020. ” Environmentalist Craig Potton says “65 percent of the world’s seabird population has dropped during the last 50 years. The ecosanctuary might be a turning point in the survival of species on the brink – seabirds are the planet’s most endangered vertebrates.”
Sloping away from the cliff, the rain water has found another way to reach the sea.
“The cape and its cliffs are composed of Paleocene quartz sandstones. The erosion of the cliffs into fine sand carried on the sea currents creates Farewell Spit further east.” (Source: Wikipedia)
First relatively close look at Wharariki Beach. This is where we go!
Many ups and downs are still to come until then :)
One more spectacular than the last.
At times the cliff is just secured by a few planks. I feel very safe and keep my eyes glued on the track :D
Maybe the last fence climb.
Or this was ;)
Much closer to the beach now, just through the bushes, over the stream and through the dunes …
A sucker for windsweptness!
Time to loose the shoes!
The swimming hole was already taken … by seal pups! We join a crowd of tourists that’s already watching in silence.
Oops. They know they’re being stalked.
But luckily don’t mind. Just happy to be. As should we!
Carrying on along the beach.
Through the cave, along the stream.
There are a few arches, caves, wonderous shaped rocks, a lot to take in.
Again, lucky that the tide was quite low, were able to walk around the lowest outcrops to get to the part of the beach that’s usually only reachable by another  (inland) track.
Wharariki and Archway Islands.
These are around 60 million years old quartz and feldspar rich sandstones that was stripped of land-based sediment significantly and later submerged by tectonic subsidence. Coastal erosion since then is caused mainly by wave action in the surf zone, along with tides and currents.
The almost constant strong winds at Wharariki are doing also great eroding (of less durable material between layers of sandstone and conglomerate).
The farm track back to the Wharariki Camp.
Leads through the lush hinterland and back to Wharariki Road.
This part of the hike is easy, beautiful walking and a possibility enjoy the gentle meandering of the path through the farms.
Just calm beauty.
Reaching the camp parking, this guy said hi. Looks like he’s the camp pet :)
Later, at Puponga Farm Park, a quick detour to pick up a few bags of dry seagrass to mulch the strawberries. This stuff is soft yet dense, very plyable but stable and filled with nutrients… it will be perfect!

Thanks for this great day! Cool walk, nice talk, sore legs but awesome memories!


Donations in form of Darbo Preiselbeer Kompott are greatly appreciated ;)