(Tramping Track) – From Buck Taylor Track, the Zion Ridge Track follows along a level ridge and meets Zion Hill Track on Zion Hill. 1.4km (Source).
We’ll that’s a very short and snappy description from the ARC .. 😉
Even though you don’t get the amazing sea views that you’ll find on the Zion Hill Track in my opinion Zion Ridge Track is a much prettier trail.
It’s also a much easier trail to run along. I was able to run large sections of it (which is saying something because I’m not the most efficient trail runner on earth) but it does get more technical (and muddy) the further along you progress. That being said, I still think the Buck Taylor end of the this track is much less technical (and definitely less busy, human wise) than the same section of Zion Hill track.
The bird life is abundant (and the tui’s are loud) along the Zion Ridge Track, although I couldn’t spot them without tripping over a tree root or other such obstacle. But on the few occasions where I stopped dead because I was sure I was directly underneath (or at least very near) to the birds, I still couldn’t spot them in the forest canopy. Although I am pretty blind, so you very well could have much better luck than I.
All in all, if I was to do a loop track at Karekare I’d be in a conundrum – although I prefer the Zion Ridge Track (over the Zion Hill Track) it does mean that you have to traverse nearly the entire section of the Buck Taylor Track to complete a loop and the Buck Taylor Track is really hard going (running wise), large sections are steep and muddy with large ruts, so it would be quicker to skip the Zion Ridge Track entirely run the entire length of the Zion Hill Track and loop back along the beach .. not that I’m amazingly fast at running on sand either ..
See what I mean by conundrum. 😉
The other stuff;
Location – 2 Karekare Road, Huia (50km from the CBD)
Directions (from the CBD) – Head along the north-western motorway. Get off at Lincoln Road. At the end of Lincoln Road turn into Great North Road. At first set of lights turn right into Henderson Valley Road. At the roundabout take Forest Hill Road and drive to the end. Turn right into West Coast Road. At the end of West Coast Road turn right into Scenic Drive. Travel approximately 200m and take Piha Road at the junction. Karekare is signposted off Piha Road.
Parking? – Yes two on Karekare Road, the larger one with the swanky toilet block is the closest to the track.
Toilet Facilities? – Yes at the carpark.
Kid Friendly? – Hmmm .. well I wouldn’t take my kids, they’d moan and want to turn around before we even made it that far.
Till next time