Author Topic: Bream Head via Lion Rock  (Read 155 times)

Bream Head via Lion Rock
« on: March 31, 2018, 02:29:50 PM »
Thought I'd do the longer loop to make the day trip up from The Tron worthwhile. Parked at the roadend at Urquharts Bay to start. Being well signposted at the beginning with a wide gravelled track, I completely missed the unmarked small dirt track hard left almost immediately after the start. Realised I was going the wrong way and climbed a bit of paddock to meet what I could now see was a sign up higher on the bushline which marked the start of the track proper. Actually, the main track around the point before you start climbing looks a nice walk if you have the time.
From here it was a steep slog all the way up to the top of Lion Rock. The views from here weren't very inspiring (being mostly obscured by bush), but the views came very shortly after. Was an undulating walk all along the ridgeline with the ocassional view and an interesting rock piller thrown in on the way (which would be a nice short rockclimb if a rope was handy). No mud on the track, but surface roots and rocks slippery after the recent rain.

I took another short detour as I got closer to Te Whara. As you get to the top of a rise, there is a big rock on your RHS (see photo). If you rock scramble up here (some gentle exposure, but no more than Te Whara itself), you get some awesome views (see photo) - very similar to the Te Whara summit itself. You don't need to cross 'the bottomless crevasse' to get the views. Some serious exposure past this point if you want to try for the top (not for me thank you!). I only knew about this lookout due to the fact that there was a geocache hidden up here! For those of you with a GPS, the coordinates are S 35 51.215 E 174 34.353. Many thanks MaoriPirate for showing me this spot! And if you do go there, please respect the geocache should you find it - feel free to sign the logbook and replace as found.

Te Whara wasn't much further on from here. Yes, I agree with Vino - the scramble up here is fine, and the views are stunning - yes, even surpassing Manaia (and that's sayiing something!).

A straight forward and pleasant walk down to Ocean Beach with a not too arduous 4km road bash back to the car to finish (found a little grass short cut near the end which saves a few minutes - see GPS trail).

All in all a quite satisfying little circuit, and not as hard as you may be led to believe. Although it's signposted at the beginning with a very precise time allocated of 5 hour 10 minutes one way to Ocean Beach, it only took me a leisurely 3.5 hours to do the whole loop back to the car with lots of stops on the way.

Hmm.. a 3.5 hour drive up, a 3.5 hour walk, followed by a 3.5 hour drive back home in the pouring rain. As if I've got nothing better to do with my day... when are we going up to the far north Vino?  ;D
'There is always a risk in being alive, and if you are more alive, there is more risk' -Ibsen