Karioitahi

The total length of soarable ridge from the Waikato River in the South to the Manukau Heads in the north is 35 kilometres. The best wind direction to make the trip to Manukau Heads is West South-West. The gaps are relatively easy to cross but be aware that there are limited landing options north of the Karioitahi Beach access road and next to no vehicle access.
 
Live weather data and a webcam mounted on the Surf Lifesaving Club is accessible here: http://www.kariaotahi.mobi/
The Holfuy live wind station for Karioitahi is at: https://holfuy.com/en/data/213
PLEASE NOTE THAT THE HOLFUY STATION SUGGESTS THAT SOUTH IS THE LIMIT FOR SOARING; IN FACT, THE LIMIT IS SOUTH SOUTHWEST (SSW). (We only have the options of SW or S with the software.) 
SIMILARLY, THE NORTHERLY WIND DIRECTION LIMIT IS ACTUALLY WNW.
 

Location: 

This site is located on the West Coast, approximately one hours drive from downtown Auckland. Take the Southern Motorway and turn off at Drury, following the signs to Waiuku and then to Karioitahi. The road terminates at the beach and there are five separate launch sites:
A. The "High Site" also known as "The Main Cliff", 300 m north of the access road. (Used by PGs when wind is too light for the other launch sites).
B. The dunes at the end of the car park by the lifesavers building at the termination of the road - only used in strong wind by a few keen pilots. (Rarely used)
C. The lawn of the restaurant which is located on the cliff just above the lifesavers building, and accessed by a road turning left just before reaching the beach. (Sometimes used by PG pilots)
D. The "Club Launch" (hang glider) mid-point take-off located on the cliff approximately 500 metres to the south of the restaurant and lifesavers club. (Not used for PG training since the move to Maioro.) Drive up the sealed road, past the challets, until you see the gate to the south of chalet 18 (the gate is at the bottom of the track). The track is suitable for 4WD vehicles. Please avoid gouging out the track through wheel-spinning. 
E. The top take-off located at the top of the cliff. This sites is accessed by either leaving the vehicle outside the Lifesavers Club, walking along the beach and up the cliff (PG) or, alternatively taking the private road from beyond the restaurant (PG & HG). (This is the main Karioitahi HG launch site.)

Landing: 

When landing on the beach keep look out for beach traffic particularly through summer and when the tide is high. There is a "no landing zone" that extends roughly 50 m north and south of the grassy derigging area in front of the bottom carpark. Please do your best to avoid landing close to the grassy derigging area when there are lots of other beach users about. Keep an eye out for vehicles and hoons on bikes before setting up for a landing.

Glider Types: 
Hang Glider
Paraglider
Site Rating: 
HG Novice
HG Intermediate
HG Intermediate + Cliff Launch
PG2
PG2 + 30 hours
Site Type: 
Coastal
Wind Directions: 
S
SW
W
Access Conditions: 

The site lessee is the operator of Castaway's Restaurant. The road from the restaurant to the top take-off past the holidays homes has been extended by Gavin, in conjunction with the Club, and is a restricted access.   
There is a 10 km per hour speed restriction when passing through the chalet area.
If you have a 2WD vehicle, please do not leave it parked next to the chalets at the top of the sealed road. Please park it in one of the non-chalet car parks. 
  
Karioitahi SignKarioitahi Sign

Cautions: 

It is unwise to use the top take-off (site E) in a southerly (wind very cross anyway) as there is no escape if your launch is not perfect or you are in risk of being dragged side ways. Be aware of being caught behind ridges when the wind is off to either the South of the North.
Rating for site C is P.G.2 plus 30 hours for PG and Intermediate & Cliff Launch for HG.

Airspace: 

These sites are located within the outer area of CTA/C with a height restriction of 2,500 foot A.S.L, reducing to 1,500 foot approximately 8km north of Karioitahi, and over the township of Waiuku behind and to the east of Karioitahi

Site Monitor: 
John Burton - 09 5283362
Site Achievements: 

Hang glider pilot Anton Lawrence has flown from Kariotahi, crossing the Manukau entrance and landing at Whatipu. Hang glider pilot Carl Dreissen has flown over the back of Kariotahi and landed in Pukekohe. Paraglider pilots Peter Creighton and Jeff Ripley have flown over the back of Kariotahi and landed at Waiuku.

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