Coromandel - Pinnacles Walk
One of the best known trails in Coromandel and probably New Zealand as a whole is the Pinnacles Walk (Kauaeranga Kauri Trail) in Kauaeranga Valley. While it is possible to sleep at Pinnacles Hut, the walk isn't all that long and staying the night really only makes sense if you want to get on top of the Pinnacles early in the morning or late in the evening - which is probably wonderful!
We only did the walk as a daytrip.
Kauri Dieback is a disease that is slowly destroying the few remaining kauri trees on the upper North Island. It is usually spread by soil movement, so it is vital to clean your shoes and gear when moving through kauri forests. To learn more about it, and what you can do to prevent spreading it, visit https://www.kauridieback.co.nz/
The trail starts at Kauaerange Road end and follows a historic packhouse route that was in use when kauri logging took place in the area in the 1920. Along the way there are some information boards about the trail and kauri logging.
We followed the Webb Creek Track and intially planned to return via the Billygoat Track.
Upon starting the trail we encountered our first ever Cleaning Station to prevent Kauri Dieback Disease. Since that is a really serious issue, we took great care to clean our shoes and trekking poles really well and remove all soil, even though we hadn't yet been in an area where Kauri Trees grow. Better safe than sorry.
Right at the beginning the trail crosses a swing bridge across Kauaearange River and then starts to lead up the mountain. In a lot of places the trail shows its function as a packhorse trail - steps are cut into the rocks, and often that path like it is made up of uneven cobblestones.
At at location called "Hydro Camp" the path divides into the Pinnacles Track, which leads to the Hut and the Pinnacles Peaks, and the Billygoat Track, the alternative track to walk back down to the parking lot. Here also some more relics of the tracks history - some remains of a skidded road. (Small logs laid lengthwise, then crosspieces on them, on which the logs were pulled along).
The trail continued upwards, sidling around a hill and then onto a wide ridge with nice views across the Pinaccles. From here it was just a short distance to the Pinnacles Hut, where we stopped for lunch.
At the hut we shortly debated wether to continue to the Pinnacles Peaks or just return. It was yet another hot day, and we realized that finally after three months of mountains and forests, we weren't exactly sure if we needed another view across the landscape.
Of course we decided to head up anyways, and boy it was so worth it. The trail leading up to the peak was awesome. It climbed up super steep and was the first place in all of New Zealand where we actually encountered metal hooks and staircases to make the ascent easier. That was fun!
At the top we had a grand view across the Coromandel Peninsula and we could definitely understand why some many people stay the night at the Pinnacles Hut to be able to make their way to the Peak in the morning for sunrise. It must be absololutely spectacular.