The Truman track is a short track to a small lowtide- only beach that’s overlooked by most visitors to Paparoa in their haste to see the blowholes and then hurry on. Don’t miss the Truman track. Though it’s short, it packs a scenic punch larger than its length. First, the track itself is an easy and delightful 10 minutes through very jungly Westland rainforest. Ferns and palms and moss and scraggly trees form a rainforest tunnel down to the beach, all highlighted by a bunch of good interpretive signs. The track ends on a rock shelf overlooking the Truman cove where at higher tides the wave bash and splash and blow a bit. The better time to visit is at half-tide or lower when you can take the steps down to the cove onto the sand to explore (you should be at the Pancake Rocks at high tide.) What you’ll find in Truman’s cove is a small waterfall pouring off a wave-eroded limestone overhang directly onto the beach! It’s fairly unique for a waterfall to actually pour off a cliff onto the sand, and you won’t find many like it anywhere in New Zealand. On the North Island there are many waterfalls that sort of dribble and bounce down sheer cliffs onto the sand, but never one like Truman’s that takes a big leap. Bring a bathing suit, because if your boyfriend is decent with a camera, you can get a great photo-memory of taking a beach shower under a sculpted Punakaiki cliff!!
A Sculpted Punakaiki Beach Cove
Difficulty: easy 10-minute (1.0 km) to cove
Bring: a swimsuit and camera, tide chart