Where: Deliverance Cove Track, Castlepoint, Wairarapa
Distance & Time: 1.5 hour loop track
Take: Water, camera to capture the amazing views!
Amenities on route: Carpark + bathrooms
Cost of the walk: Free
Having spent almost half of my life living in Wellington, this was the first time I’d ever gone to Castlepoint and now I’m wondering what in the world took me so long to drive the 2.5 hours to this very cool place!
Castlepoint is an hour out of Masterton, which is the last stop to buy food + any supplies you need. We arrived at our accommodation in the dark so had absolutely no idea where we were or what the town looked like.
We decided that we’d get up early the next morning and see sunrise from the lighthouse – being on the East Coast we would be some of the first to see the sun that day! While it was a wee bit of a struggle leaving our warm bed, having the whole lighthouse area to ourselves to watch the sunrise and explore the area was pretty amazing.
We parked on the sand and walked up the quick walkway to the lighthouse. While it was cloudy so we didn’t quite get the amazing sunrise we had hoped for, it was still a beautiful morning to explore. The lighthouse is on a rocky outcrop so we were able to explore all around the rocks and cliffs. Paul took his drone and got some amazing footage too!
From the lighthouse we could see up to Castle Rock, where we walked later that day.
We walked to Castle Rock in a clockwise direction, heading along the beach first before climbing up to the ridge line. There were a lot more people out doing this walk – it seemed to be the local walk of choice!
The thing I really like about both of these walks is that there are no barriers – you can explore where you want! You don’t have to stick to the track, you can climb over rocks and over the cliffs (obviously at your own risk) and it’s so much more fun than just sticking to a rigid path! It also means it didn’t feel as crowded as people were so much more spread out.
The view from the top of Castle Rock is spectacular. You can see all the way both north and south of the Wairarapa Coast, and of course inland to the west. It’s stunning, especially if you’re up there on a calm day as the sea is so still! I spent a while trying to find signs of whales + dolphins, as signage alluded to sightings of them on occasion, but it wasn’t to be while we were there.
The track to the ridge line is fairly easy but once you’re there it is no longer DOC land and the track becomes a bit more narrow and not as well formed. It’s still completely doable but just something to be aware of. It’s a good idea to wear sneakers that have a bit of grip on the soles too as there are a couple of slippery spots.
Amy’s Advice – if you can, try and go on a calm day with no wind. That way you’ll be able to relax and take in the amazing summit views. If you’re an early bird, also recommend the lighthouse for sunrise as you’ll most likely have the whole place to yourselves!
When you get to the t-junction at the cliff, take the short trek to the left before returning to head up right to the peak. To the left, if you look down carefully you can see this amazing little patch of bush – it looks inaccessible but it’s so easy to imagine it being a haven for all sorts of wildlife as it looks so green and lush.
Heading towards the right takes you to the peak and it’s here where you get the spectacular 360 degree view. Warning that you may feel inspired to have a bit of a Julie Andrews twirl here – it’s the perfect location for it (just stay away from the edge!) – you can see just how close you can get in the video below.
There was a storm coming in from the south so we trekked back down as we did not want to get caught on the side of a cliff in the middle of a storm. It follows the same walk back down to the ridge line then follows a wide path through scrub and pine forest to the car park.
When we went it was early winter so a post-walk swim wasn’t super appealing, but in the height of summer I could totally imagine doing this walk and then heading straight into the ocean! The beach here is absolutely glorious with several sheltered spots for a dip. I suppose that just means we’ll have to come back and do it all again in summer!
The photos were taken by Paul and I, and the videos taken and edited by Paul.
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