Sunday, 3 July 2016

Weekending - The Pinnacles

Ready to begin

In front of an old kauri log section

My first view of the Pinnacles - we climbed right to the lookout at the top
After all the stairs up hill, I was so pleased to see this sign

The Pinnacles Hut nestled into the hills

You can see the track to The Pinnacles winding it's way up the hill on the right.

Table Mountain

Miss B climbing up to the top of the Pinnacles

Me navigating ladder rungs and rocks!

View out from the Pinnacles

Me at the top

Steps up or down - either way I walked them.

More  rock steps down
Dancing Creek Kauri Dam
Overnight hikes are something I have never done. I like hot showers, flushing toilets  (I can tolerate long drops) and my own bed. The Scout, Miss B and Mr J have done numerous overnight hikes, so The Scout has decided that he would try to convert me to the joy of travelling with  a large pack containing all my food, clothing and bedding for the weekend or longer, and sleeping in a hut with numerous other hikers.

This weekend, my family took me on my first overnight hike. Our destination was The Pinnacles in Kaueranga Valley, Coromandel.

A very cold frosty, early morning start on Saturday, saw us arrive at the track at about 8.30am.  It was very pretty, but a rather hard 6.8km hike to the hut. I was especially interested in all the different mosses and lichens that were growing trackside. The majority is uphill, climbing steep stairs made in the 1920's from carved rock. It took about 3 hours to get to the hut and I was never so glad to sit down.

Just after the hut was opened and we bagged our beds, we set off on the next part of the adventure to actually climb The Pinnacles.  This took about an hour and again was all stairs,(approximately 550) plus ladder rungs fixed onto rocks. This part of the hike was very much something I have never done before and way out of my comfort zone. It was extremely windy and extremely cold up the top, but the views were awesome.

Sharing a fully booked hut was an experience too, I didn't get a lot of sleep due to some rather loud snorers, however I was warm and cosy in my sleeping bag on one of the coldest nights we have had this winter.

Before we left to go back to the car we stopped at one of the old kauri dams used in the 1920's, then started the long walk back down.  Unfortunately descending stairs is just as hard as ascending especially on a frosty morning.

So yes, I have survived my first overnight hike, albeit with lots of sore muscles, and would probably be up to attempting a two nighter - maybe in summer though.


  1. Well done Julie, especially with cold frosty conditions. I love this walk. Have done it twice as a school trip with each of my girls but both trips were beginning of summer. The views are worth all that climbing!

  2. Wow Julie - you're keen. I did this hike when I was 17, for my Silver Duke of Edinburgh award with Girls' Brigade. I didn't go to the Pinnacles though, just Table Mountain. The girls gold award went to the Pinnacles. We stayed in the hut and then took the short route down in the morning. I definitely couldn't do it now though, so well done.

  3. That tramp is on my to-do-list. Looks so beautiful. Did you take the photo's on your phone or lug a fancy camera along with you? Amazing stone work steps. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Congratulations on your first overnighter! I'm afraid I wouldn't be up for sharing a hut with others, like my home comforts. Thanks for sharing your photos, the views from the top are magnificent and as a lover of lichens and mosses (also mushrooms and toadstools - not the edible kind) I found the photos of them very interesting.

  5. Well done! Yes 'overnighters' are something either you love or hate! We used to go skiing and I discovered early on that communal sleeping isn't my thing either, but the kids loved it! Great photos!

  6. Good on you Julie, well done! The photos are wonderful too. Have a good week!

  7. Well done Julie. The hiking wouldn't have been so bad, but the snorers....haha! Love all your photos. Good on you! Summer would be much nicer I'm sure!

  8. You are a very brave woman :) I wouldn't do it, but I sure like seeing it through your eyes :)

  9. Wow, Julie, the views are stunning. I'm not much for hiking and over night camping either. I like to be warm and dry, too. It's always worth it when you do it though. Love the beautiful photos.

  10. What an amazing adventure you had! I bet those blue skies defy how cold it was? Stunning scenery and well done you!! I am impressed!

  11. I'm afraid I am one of the day trippers. I have heard so many stories of loud snorers and mice running amok in DOC huts, I have never stayed in one. one day I guess I'll get over it. Maybe if I just walk far enough, I'll sleep through anything!
    Have a great week, and keep warm.

    1. No mice in this one, a very modern clean hut. I'll invest in earplugs for the next time I stay in one.

  12. Good for you!!
    Amazing photos! Thank you for sharing.

  13. Glad you enjoyed it! It looks like a very beautiful part of the world!

  14. Great pictures! This is something I would like to do!!! Well.. except over night camping :)


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