New Zealand – our closest neighbour and a country of breath-taking scenery, quiet wilderness, tasty morsels and of course, for those of us looking, adventure around every corner.
The Pinnacles Walk, located in the Coromandel Ranges, is the perfect escape for nature lovers in need of an easy-to-organise break. From Auckland airport, it is just a 1.5hours drive to the Kauaeranga Visitor Centre where you begin the walk. The walk can be tackled as a day walk – 8hrs round trip for fit trekkers – but we recommend taking the time to stay overnight at the Department of Conservations (DoC) hut. This gives you the opportunity to experience the 360-degree views of both sunset and sunrise.
The DoC hut is the largest in the country and well equipped for all your cooking needs. Great spaces to relax in amongst the tops of the Kauri trees and large comfy dorms for a great nights sleep. Be sure to book though as it is often booked out in the summer months.
The start of the walk follows the original steps used by the Kauri loggers who plundered the area in the early 1900s. Thankfully this area has been rejuvenated and your path takes you through groves of nikau palms, huge rata trees whilst crossing streams and sturdy swing-bridges. Climbing up and up you will reach the DoC hut after approx. 3hrs for a well-deserved rest or exploration of the Dancing Camp Kauri Dam a relic from the Kauri logging days.
As the sun starts to sink lower start your ascent to the rock peaks of the Coromandel Ranges to enjoy the sensational panoramic sunset view. The path is steep with many stairs and rock and steel ladders to be climbed to reach the summit. After 30mins you reach the top for the panoramic views as the sun starts to dip behind the mountains, shining all of its colours out over the bays below and the islands on the horizon. The vista is breathtaking!! As the colours light up the night sky you descend to your comfy bed for a peaceful sleep cradled in the tips of the Kauri trees.
Rising early – be sure to fill the thermos with your morning brew, turn on the headtorch and head back up the path to experience the most breathtaking of sunrises illuminating the Coromandel Peninsula and Bay of Plenty.
After such an invigorating start to your day, don’t let your visit to the Coromandel finish there. Stay a few days to explore everything there is to see, do and taste. In amongst the tourist highlights of Cathedral Cove, Coromandel township and Hot Spring Beac, there are plenty of places to discover filled with delicious food, wine and natures delight around every corner. In this pocket of the world, all you need is an adventurous spirit for the perfect short break.