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.
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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.