Puponga Hilltop Track
- Walks & Hikes
The Puponga Hilltop Track is the best way to see four of Golden Bay’s most iconic landscapes and is a 3-5 hour walk that takes in a series of natural attractions.
Before departing from the Triangle Flat Carpark, it is recommended you spend some time exploring the first 4km of Farewell Spit beach. One of the longest natural sandspits in the world, the towering sand dunes, wind-carved tussocks and raging seas provide a once in a lifetime experience that you won’t want to pass up!
Whilst the Pillar Point Lighthouse itself is nothing to write home about, the views from the hilltop here are particularly divine, and it’s just a 1-2 hour journey through open farmland up Old Man Range to get there.
Continuing on to Cape Farewell, you’ll notice the dramatically carved coastal cliffs and sea caves that adorn the spectacular coastline. From the viewing platform at Cape Farewell, you’re likely to see a colony of seals basking on the quartz-sandstone rocks below, ravaged occasionally by the raging coastal seas that characterise the north of the South Island.
The Hilltop Track then connects with Wharariki Beach from the East, traversing rolling pastures and steep valleys before descending to the glorious white sand dunes that encircle the Archway Islands. With plenty to explore, it’s easy to while away the whole afternoon exploring the rugged arches and secluded coves of the Wharariki beach-scape.
You can also begin the Puponga Hilltop Walk from the Wharariki Beach carpark, taking in the spectacular sights and scenery from another angle.
Photo credits: (1-2) Farewell Spit Tours, (3) Adventure Flights Golden Bay, (4-5) www.nelsontasman.nz, (6) Cape Farewell Horse Treks, (7) Zatori.