Coromandel Adventure Weekend
After a couple weekends of hanging out in Auckland, we figured it was time to get out of the city and see a more quintessential side of New Zealand. To quench our thirst for the real kiwi lifestyle, last weekend, we took a ride out to the Coromandel Peninsula about an hour and a half east of Auckland. We stayed in an airbnb in Cooks Beach which is about 15 minutes from Hot Water Beach (see east side of map below).
I love to hike, so naturally we started hunting for exciting trails. One of my roommates, Rory, was chatting with a couple students he has been working with and they recommended hiking the Pinnacles. The Pinacles are in the heart of the Coromandel Forest Park (right about where the 't' is in Forest), deep into Kaueranga. We looked up where to go for the trailhead, read up on the hike, and set out for the Kaueranga Valley with our other roommate, Ryan. However, we missed a crucial detail about this little walk. The NZ parks guide we found online said it would be around 8 hrs of hiking total and that the hike was "Intermediate to Difficult." If you ever see a hike that gives a vague description, do yourself a favor and read some reviews, take a look at alltrails or hikespeak or another forum where people discus hikes in greater detail. It was certainly not an easy trek - but it was extremely worth it. It is easily one of the most beautiful trails I have ever hiked. By the time we had finished trekking we had walked about 10 miles and gained and lost over 3,000 ft in elevation.
After our hike up and down the pinnacles we found our way to our place in cooks beach and tucked in for the night. Saturday morning we got up early and saw the sunrise over Stingray Bay. It made for a good chance to recharge and watch the sun come up over such a peaceful spot.
Stingray Bay is next to an iconic New Zealand beach, so we had to take a little walk to Cathedral Cove. It is certainly a magical beach - still trying to figure out how to get back to the tube platform.
We took the long way back the next day through Coromandel Town, and paused for a beautiful sunset.