Pahaoa Riverhead and Beach

Pahaoa Riverhead and Beach

The stretch of Wairarapa coast that you approach via Glendhu Station’s access road turns out to be a stunning and isolated fishing beach at the Pahaoa Riverhead.

With a steep pitch to the sand, the ocean becomes deep very quickly so it is best to avoid swimming for safety reasons, especially if you are there alone. Fishing is possible both in the freshwater river and saltwater estuary, and there is information on quotas at the Glendhu Station gate.

Huge pieces of driftwood have collected all along the shore and it is possible to find pretty stones, smoothed and flattened by the movement of water. But what is truly unique about this coastline are the triangular rock formations sticking up from the surf around the riverhead. The formations, the Glendhu Rocks on the north side and the Kairingaringa Reef on the south side, show layers of sediment and rocks pressed together over untold thousands of years. Some formations closer to shore can be climbed over and explored, though the local sheep population are likely to be suspicious.

Across the riverhead, the end of the road through Pahaoa Station and the stretching coastline are visible to the south. Geese, ducks, and other waterfowl populate the wide river and if you visit on foot, it is possible to follow the river, rather than the ‘road’, much of the way back to the Station homestead.

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