The track follows a narrow coastal strip at the foot of steep pasture covered hills. A windswept and rocky coastline stretches between jagged promontories and waves crash on shallow rocks just offshore. On the beach is an assortment of smooth white pebbles, flecked with grey. Paua shells are abundant.
The entire track crosses private land. Please respect the property and keep to the marked track. The track is closed between September and October for lambing.
From Masterton follow Gladstone Road 40 km to Te Wharau. Glenburn is signposted 26km further on along a mostly unsealed road.
The track starts from inside Glenburn Station and is signposted on the left before the sign indicating the end of the public road.
The entire track crosses private land. Please respect the property and keep to the marked track. The track is closed between August and September for lambing. For most of it’s length it is marked with orange triangles, some on marker posts.
Initially the track crosses a stile and heads through a paddock towards the sea. Through the gate it follows the fenceline (marked with orange triangles) reaching a very boggy area before heading south.
The track then follows a narrow grass strip between the rocky beach and paddock boundary (15 minutes). This can be prone to erosion and you may have to walk along the beach occasionally. After crossing another stile, head for the stile in the opposite corner of the paddock.
From here the track is marked with orange triangles on marker posts. Unfortunately the raupo and wiwi is so high it obscures the posts and in places the track is not well enough formed to find an easy route. You will also have to negotiate some wet and boggy areas of the paddocks and head to the beach to cross a few wide streams. However the marker posts are never far away, so if you do stray from the track, you can easily return.
The track continues past Honeycomb Rock to the wreck of the Tuvalu (5 minutes). There is little of interest past here.
The Honeycomb Rocks are named because of the unusual weathering patterns exhibited on their surface. The rocks are composed of sandstone which is 90 million years old. When sea spray soaks into the rocks, they become saturated with salt, which on drying, enlarges the salt crystals levering the sand grains apart. Wind then dislodges the grains and eddies to form the hollows. The honeycomb pattern is best exhibited on overhangs, where the face is protected from the rainfall.
A colony of fur seals inhabit the rocks near Honeycomb light (about half way to Honeycomb Rock) and at Honeycomb Rock itself. Take care not to disturb their sun-drenched slumber and whatever you do, stay landward side. The seals use the rocks to rest and are well camouflaged against the dark wave beaten textures.
The Tuvalu was a Fijian trader which ran aground on its maiden voyage on 11th January 1967. The hull was severed near the engine room. The New Zealand captain, first mate and 10 Fijian crew were winched to safety on the beach along with the vessel’s cargo of explosives and detonators. Assorted rusting detritus has been swept up shore during storms, but the main bough section structure still sits on the beach.
A beacon was formerly sited on Honeycomb Rock, but removed in 1961 because the salt spray frequently caused the light to breakdown, necessitating costly servicing trips
North Island ▷ Wairarapa ▷ Carterton
Thanks to all the good people working for the NZ Department of Conservation - for all your hard work - making NZ more beautiful, accessable and healthy! Cheers 😍