Day Route: Whakapata Cottage to Stony Bay Lodge
Your Hosts: Elworthy Family
Degree of difficulty: Moderate / Difficult
Distance: 15.5km or 6 - 7hrs (with breaks).
Highlights: Reaching the top of the Bugler/Elevated Pacific Ocean Views/Relaxing at Stony Bay Lodge.
Your first day of walking is the longest and we suggest you set off by 9am. Begin your walk across open, flat farmland. Cross the valley and begin your climb to the first ridge where you will be rewarded with stunning views that give you a taste of what’s to come.
At Stag Point begin your descent to the creek, weaving your way through the magnificent stand of Old Man Kowhais. At Blairlogie Junction enter the bush – once clear farmland and a good example of a regenerating native environment.
An initial gentle climb will intensify as you near the departure point to visit the top of The Buglar. We highly recommend this optional extra. The short climb to the top will get the blood pumping and the camera clicking. The 360 degree views from the Lookout include a tantalizing glimpse of the Pacific to the East, saw-toothed hills reaching into the distance, and the methane sequestering Pinus Radiata further inland.
After refuelling with some home baking it’s time to press on towards the coast. Continue your hike across an undulating section of open farmland to the Hiwikirikiri Boundary. Soon after crossing this boundary you will reach the top of the final ridge. This ridge will lead you to the coast, affording you breathtaking views of the ocean along the way. Take care to avoid sensory overload as you take in the panoramic vista surrounding you.
Slowly descend past the Witches Hat (a conical seafront peak reminiscent of Lord of the Rings scenery) and down the steep but brief Rope Run. Meander along the gravel road to reach the haven that is Stony Bay Lodge. Relax. Rejuvenate. Reflect!!!