There’s no better way to get a unique view of the spectacular Castlepoint Beach, a 50-60 min drive from Masterton on a sealed country road, than by walking the Deliverance Cove walking track.
The track starts and finishes at the southern end of the car park at the entry to the lagoon and can be walked clock wise or anticlockwise. This day we opt to go through the pines first. It’s a gentle slope up with plenty of gravel underfoot. Once out of the canopy, the vista widens and there is no shade. I’m glad I’m wearing my hat and sunscreen. The track winds around the hillside to the south of the settlement and suddenly there is a fantastic view of Christmas Bay and further south down the dramatic Wairarapa coastline. It’s not uncommon to spot pods of dolphins or see sailing ships off shore adding to the experience.
We follow the reserve boundary to the base of Castle Rock, named that by Captain Cook who was struck by the similarities of the impressive rock jutting out of the hill to the battlements of a castle. From here we look north and its a different perspective of Castlepoint. So many holiday photos are taken from the 100 year-old lighthouse, which stands guard over the beach settlement at the northern end of the reef, so it’s nice to look back at the lighthouse. There’s a great bird’s eye view of the lagoon, beach and The Gap, a popular surfing break flanked by Castle Rock and the imposing limestone reef.
The track down the hill has a number of stairs and dotted along the way are bench seats perfect for a breather or a place to set up your camera. The base of the track sees sand dunes on one side and soft sand edging the lagoon on the other. It’s a relaxing walk back to the car park and an opportunity to see restoration work and planting being done. Also, if you visit at the right time of year you may see the Castlepoint Daisy, a native bush with dainty yellow flowers not found anywhere else in the world.
To find out more about the Wairarapa and what you can do here head to www.wairarapanz.com or contact one of the local i-SITEs:
Masterton i-SITE Visitor Centre
Corner Bruce and Dixon Streets
+64 6 370 0900
Martinborough i-SITE Visitor Centre
18 Kitchener Street
+64 6 306 5010