Pararaha Valley

Pararaha Valley

Te Ara Tūhara – Hillary Trail

Pararaha Valley is a stunningly steep-sided valley on Te Ara Tūhura Hillary Trail, about halfway between Whatipu and Karekare. Access is along the Gibbons and Muir Tracks from Whatipu to the campsite roughly in the middle of the valley; or along the beach, then through the dunes from Karekare to the valley entrance. On Te Ara Tūhura, you will enter the valley from Gibbons/Muir, but each of these walks takes about 2.5 hours return, depending on how distracted you get if you are walking in and out.

The main track through the valley has been extensively upgraded. At the valley entrance there is a wetland and you will cross a boardwalk and pass the (still closed as of spring 2022) access to the Zion Track on the left side. Look a bit more closely to spot the waterfall off the cliff in the far distance.

Looking up the valley, you may see a second waterfall after a bit of rain, coming off the cliff that marks a dogleg in the valley. Next there is an interesting extended curved bridge that crosses the Pararaha Stream, which also provides a viewing platform. The track then heads into forest regrowth alongside the stream, overhung by cliffs and steep-sided hills. This includes a large conical exposed volcanic core on the left side walking in.

From the campsite, there is also easy access to the stream which you can explore at your leisure.

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