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Explore historic logging trails where kauri was extensively milled and gold mining relics. You have opportunities to swim beneath a waterfall or to walk among the giants of the forest, massive kauris which have escaped nineteenth century timber milling. Explore a historic cemetery in Thames and street art in Coromandel. Stop by a local favourite ice cream shop situated next to the Mercury Bay Museum. The ten walks take you from the eastern to western sides of the Coromandel Peninsula. There are numerous additional walks, check the travel pack information section to check out any trails or track appeal. Cycle trails, gold mining trails and heritage walks, the Coromandel is not always about beaches and golden sand.

Northern Coromandel

1
Waiau Falls and Kauri Grove Lookout Walk

The state highway 360 gravel route between Coromandel (town) and Whitianga is popular due to the opportunity to view Kauris on this short walk. Travelling from Coromandel the walk is approximately 7 km from the turnoff onto the gravel SH360 route. The grove contains Kauri that have forked just above the ground. There is a small car park, take care crossing the road. The track is well signposted. The track is well formed, with footbridges and a boardwalk to protect the kauris from direct contact. It is an excellent walk for tree lovers. The grove is the largest remaining stand of mature kauri in the Coromandel. Historically the area underwent extensive logging due to the need for wooden props for gold mining. Within 1km the Waiau Falls can be viewed from the road. There is a small car park for visitors who visit to walk to the Falls.

Kauri grove walk:

  • Length: 500m (one way)
  • Duration: 30 minutes
  • Grade: easy
2
Waiau Falls
  • Length: 300 metres (one way)
  • Duration: 30 – 2 hours
  • Grade: Easy/Medium (there are steps)

NOTE: popular swimming hole at base of Falls surrounded by native bush

There are no facilities at either Waiau Falls or Kauri Grove

3
Whitianga Waterfront and Town Heritage walk and bike

The street art makes for a fun walk, remember to check out the view of the marina as you pass the main street. The historic dairy factory, now museum is worth a detour along with the well known ice cream shop next door. The historic Buffalo anchor is a memorial to the wreck 1840 with the loss of two lives. The Taputapuatea stream has been replanted and is now a local swimming spot. There are numerous cafes and seats making this a very comfortable town exploration.

  • Length: 3 km
  • Duration: As long as wish
  • Grade: Flat, easy pavements

THAMES

4
Explore Shortland Cemetery & Miners Cottages

By 1870 117 had been buried in the new Shortland Cemetery. The cemetery walk is a journey through the town history combined with great views from its hilltop position. This walk features historic mining cottages, old oak trees, panoramic views and the Shortland Cemetery. Make sure to follow the Victorian lace fences to views the older graves such as John William Hall and a soldier who fought at the Battle of Waterloo.

  • Length from town centre 4.2km or Shortland Rd 1.4km
  •  Duration: 1.5hrs approx Distance: 4.2km, including Shortland Cemetery

THAMES – KAUAERANGA VALLEY

The Kauaeranga Valley is east of Thames on the Coromandel Peninsula.

Where is Kauaeranga Valley

 

 

Thames to Kauaeranga Valley

Kauaeranga Visitor Centre IS 13 km up the Kauaeranga Valley, is the main point of contact for track, hut and camping information, with 24-hr information panels under the covered veranda. The Visitor Centre has seasonal opening days and hours. Hut tickets, hut bookings and retail items such as maps, books and other conservation-related material are available, as well as displays and an audio visual of the area’s kauri logging days. Public conservation land within the valley is managed by the Department of Conservation (DOC),

The  Kauaeranga Gorge – the area now part of the Kauri Trail walk / cycleway. In the main river valley and its tributaries, timber was extracted from workers based in bush camps. Pack horses were used to carry supplies. Using axe, saw and timber jack, they felled thousands of massive trees, which were trimmed, cut to length and transported to streams, and rivers via log chutes or along skidded roads. Dams and tramlines were constructed to extract the fallen logs. By the late 1920’s most of the kauri had been logged. Bush camps, tramlines and relics of the logging area were abandoned. Today there are extensive walking trails exploring regenerating bush and the historic physical artefacts of this era.

5
Kahikatea walk to model dam

This walk starts opposite the main entrance to the Visitor Centre, passing through native plantings to the one-third replica kauri driving dam. The path crosses the dam as far as an old water race. You will need to retrace your steps to the Visitor Centre car park. There is a New Zealand-based ‘Treasure Hunt’ on this track. An information sheet is available from the Visitor Centre. This is a fascinating walk for families and visitors interested in heritage trails.

  • Length: 1km
  • Duration: 40 minutes
  • Grade: Easy
6
Nature walk to Hoffman's Pool

Information panels along this easy walk introduce you to the valley’s native trees and shrubs. Look for the old water supply intake that once fed Thames township and associated stamper batteries. Hoffman’s Pool is a great place for a picnic and a summer swim.

  • Length: 500m (loop)
  • Duration: 30 minutes
  • Grade: Easy
7
Jasper Creek

This walk starts at Hotoritori Campsite and passes through regenerating tōtara, rimu, tōwai, and kahikatea, with several varieties of fungi and ground orchids growing alongside. The walk finishes back at the campsite.

  • Length: 500m (loop)
  • Duration: 30 minutes
  • Grade: Easy
8
Billygoat Landing Track

From the road end car park, follow the Kauri Trail for about 10 min before turning onto the signposted Billygoat Landing Track just after the swing bridge. There are good views of the Billy Goat Falls (180 m high) and the Billy Goat incline, built in 1921. A steam hauler was used to lower logs on trucks down the incline to Billygoat Landing. The logs were then hauled across the main river and loaded onto the Kauaeranga Tramline.

  • Length: (20 min/1 km return)
  • Duration: 30 minutes – 1hour
  • Grade: Easy
9
Murray's walk

A raised boardwalk takes you through a variety of vegetation from mānuka, fivefinger, karamū and koromiko growing at the forest edge, into rewarewa, māhoe, tōwai, tawa, rimu and rātā and past a swampy area with kahikatea and other wetland plants. Nīkau and at least three species of tree ferns – ponga, mamaku and whekī – can be seen along the way.

  • Length: 1 km
  • Duration: 30 minutes – 1 hour
  • Grade: Easy

Eastern Coromandel

10
Tairua History Trail

Tairua means two tides and has been settled for hundreds of years. In the recent past Kauri milling and gold prospecting have radically altered the landscape.  Today Tairua is a holiday destination with a summer peak season. There are two short walks either exploring Tairua’s heritage past with plaques describing events at each site or walk south over the Pepe stream bridge is wheelchair accessible.

NOTE: Tairua walks in the Coromandel Forest Park.

Broken Hills walking tracks: Coromandel Forest Park, Coromandel region

Broken Hills Recreation Area

A range of bush walking tracks of varying distances are located within the DOC managed Broken Hills area of the old gold mining settlement of Puketui in Hikuai. Relics of the past mining era can still be seen on the walks, and the Broken Hills Gorge also provides opportunities for a refreshing swim in the waterhole. The easy walking tracks range from five minutes to 10 hours and include the Golden Hills Battery, Broken Hills Battery, Puketui Walk, Water Race Tunnel Track, and Collins Dr Loop.

The journey is worth it.

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