The Pararaha Valley Track is a great track that has had a lot of work in the last five years changing it from a waist deep mudfest to a nice boardwalk stroll. A popular way to access the Pararaha Valley campground from the Whatipu coast.
The track also offers a great link for three tramping circuits. The first starts and ends at the Lone Kauri carpark and joins the Odlins Timber Track, Pararaha Stream, Pararaha Valley Track, and Buck Taylor Track before linking with the Zion Ridge Track back to the carpark. This circuit is popular with multisporters and experienced trampers.
The second is the loop from Karekare carpark and allows people to link the Pohutukawa Glade Walk, Karekare Beach, and Tunnel Point, with the Pararaha Valley, Buck Taylor and Zion Hill track back to the Karekare carpark. This is a great circuit offering a mix of landscapes from beach and wetlands to coastal forest and cliffs.
The third is the circuit from the Whatipu carpark, allowing people to link the Gibbon, Muir and Pararaha Valley Tracks with the Whatipu Coastal walk.
Pararaha Valley Track details
There are a number of ways to get to this track. The eastern end of the track is at the Pararaha Valley campground where it meets the Muir Track and the Pararaha Stream route. The western end of the track starts at a large sand dune at the mouth of the Pararaha Valley. From Karekare, the easiest way is to follow the old railway track to the Tunnel Point campground. The track continues south past the campground weaving its way across the sanddunes until you reach the track start. If you are reaching the track from the Whatipu Coastal walk you should follow the coastline to where the Pararaha Valley Lagoon flows to the stream (approximately the mid point looking up the valley); follow the stream through the sand dunes until you cross and old access road. Follow this road heading towards the mountain of sand that has accumulated at the mouth of the valley. Climb the dune and descend on its eastern side to the track start.
What to expect
Suitable for people of reasonable fitness and experience.
Tramping tracks will:
Consist of formed and drained surfaces.
Be signposted at track entrances and key junctions.
Tramping tracks may:
Have structures in permanent wet areas but waterways will not generally be bridged.
Tramping tracks may also have limited track information, and steep grades.
Theft from vehicles is not common but unfortunately can happen.
You should take the same reasonable precautions you take when parking at other locations and remember to lock your vehicle and take your valuables with you.