Rainy Coromandel Walk

Some hikes are winners. Some aren’t. But we do them anyway.

On the Coromandel Peninsula, we had booked a single night at the Pinnacles Hut, hoping for pleasant weather to hike the Kauaeranga Kauri Trail, but the forecast increasingly looked like rain.

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After a very long (2.5 hour) drive on an incredibly winding and gravel-and-pothole strewn road, we finally arrived in Thames from Cook’s Beach, on the west side of the Coromandel Peninsula. We got hiking food supplies at the Pack n’ Save and started on the trail around 2… it would be challenging to finish the hike in to the hut before dark!

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Ominous gray clouds and heavy mist enveloped us soon after we started the tramp. It was damp and chilly.

James and I both wondered why this had seemed like a good idea…

It was definitely a bit of slog, though frequent stream-crossings, on which we scrambled over rocks near waterfalls and swollen rivers, made for interesting walking. We also crossed some on swing bridges… always fun.

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It was just a tough hike, though the kids were troopers.

It thundered. It drizzled, it poured, it dripped. Most of the trail was wooded, which helped some, but it was just so wet.

Usually arriving at a DOC hut is a relief, and this arrival was no different. However, we realized and that the warden had put the few brave souls staying the night in a bunkhouse far from the only fireplace.

The result was the coldest hut stay I’ve experienced. At one point I put my feet near James and, through the sleeping bag, he said they were emanating coldness. What?!

The next morning dawned somewhat clear, but by the time we were ready to hike, clouds had rolled in and it was raining again. We did see an awesome rainbow but that didn’t keep us dry…

Thus, we didn’t really see the amazing views of the Coromandel Peninsula that the Pinnacles track had promised.

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Not raining at the moment…

Nearing the end of the trail on the hike out, it started pouring again. Charlotte said we’d have to come back another time to do the hike and hopefully get some vistas.

///janel///

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