Te Araroa Trail – Day 138

Sunday March 24, 2024
Distance/ Total: 38.9 km / 24.2 mi

The trail out of Colac Bay was a short roadwalk toward the beach then down the foreshore road for about a kilometer. Reaching the end of the road we moved down into the beach. The beach here was made of pea gravel sized pebbles and not sand. The 2 kilometer walk was slow and difficult as each footstep was sinking into the gravel.

Fortunately it was a short walk to the next road section and we were able to get back onto a harder surface. From here the trail alternated between short walks along the beach and climbing up into the cliffs above the headlands. There were some good views on some of the cliffs and some fascinating rock structures along the shore.

Leaving the beachfront the trail turned and climbed up to Lookout Point with a nice view out to sea and the town of Riverton below. Continuing down the hill we entered the town of Riverton and stopped at a bakery for brunch.

Returning to the trail we discovered that we had missed low tide and had to turn back and walk some city streets to get past the point leading to the beach. Back on the beach we were about 1 1/2 hours before high tide and the beach was getting narrow forcing us into some soft sand.

The 20 kilometer beach walk did allow us to get past high tide and as the water started retreating we were able to enjoy walking on the hard packed sand for most of the day. Our one concern was a stream crossing about half way down the beach that was supposed to be crossable at low to mid tide. We would be there only an hour after high tide.

We reached the stream and luckily were able to cross it in only shin deep water. Only another 10 km to go. Oreti Beach is a drive on beach and as we approached the end of our beach walk there were quite a few cars, trucks, and motorcycles on the beach enjoying the sand.

We left the beach about 6:30pm and now our focus changed to getting dinner before things closed down. We reached the Cabbage Tree Restaurant a little after 7:00pm and enjoyed a great dinner (and a couple of beers) before heading next door to the holiday park where we had a nice cabin reserved for the night.

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