Where: Whites Bay Loop Track, Whites Bay, Marlborough
Distance & Time: 10km, 3-4 hours
Take: Camera, sunscreen, water, snacks
Amenities on route: Bathrooms at the beginning/end of walk, and a beach for a post-walk swim!
Cost of the walk: Free
You can have a pre and post-walk swim on this walk, as it starts and ends at a beautiful, calm, sandy beach – Whites Bay, near Blenheim. The loop track heads up into the hills, along the ridgeline and then back down to the beach, giving glorious views towards Blenheim and back up towards to the Marlborough Sounds.
The walk starts at the campground, but prepared to just keep walking uphill for approximately the next 1.5 hours! There is no break from the uphill walking, it goes up through pine forest until it hits the road, follows the road for a bit before turning off onto a four wheel drive track. That track continues going up until it turns into a bush track again and it was here I was finally able to breathe normally again rather than huffing and puffing!
Take a moment though before heading off the four wheel drive track to take in the view as once you’re on the ridgeline you don’t get as much of a view towards the ocean, it’s more towards the rest of the hills. We had contemplated doing the walk up to Mt Robertson but once we saw where it was, we quickly decided to just stick with the loop track instead.
We weren’t the only ones who were wandering along the ridgeline on this day though, a curious weka also decided to join us. They were just cruising up the track, stopping every so often for a sniff and a nibble. They didn’t seem disturbed by us at all, and just passed on by us with barely a glance in our direction!
Amy’s Advice – stop at Rarangi on your way back from Whites Bay, and explore the caves there and take the 10 minute walk over to Monkey Bay. Very cool!
At the top you can either continue on up to Mt Robertson or head back down the hill. This is where we had our lunch break as we figured it was around the half way mark, plus we were hungry. Heading down is similar to the uphill in that this part is constantly downhill, so beware that you may need to talk a walking pole with you if you need it, just for this bit. The bush track emerged into a four wheel drive track and there was a car there, that most definitely wasn’t four wheel drive capable, and the further down the track we walked the more we wondered how in the world that car managed to make it up there.
The four wheel drive track then meets the road which we crossed to continue down through a bush track, with glimpses of the ocean every so often. And after not too long we were back at our campsite. I highly recommend staying at the campsite before or after this walk as the beach is glorious and there’s a few walks to do around here, including a glow worm walk!
The photos were taken by Paul + I!
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