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The Kauaeranga Valley

At 759 m high, the Pinnacles have panoramic views of the bush, mountains and coastline of the southern Coromandel

More than 30 walks crisscross the Coromandel Forest Park, spread over several major blocks throughout the centre of the Coromandel Peninsula. The most popular hike is the challenging six- to eight-hour return journey up to the Pinnacles (759m) in the Kauaeranga Valley behind Thames. Other outstanding tramps include the Coromandel Coastal Walkway in Far North Coromandel, from Fletcher Bay to Stony Bay, and the Puketui Valley walk to abandoned gold mines.

The DOC Kauaeranga Visitor Centre has interesting displays about the kauri forest and its history. Maps and conservation resources are available for purchase and staff dispense advice.

The centre is 14km off SH25; it’s a further 9km along a gravel road to the start of the trails. Enquire at the Thames hostels about shuttles.

The DOC Pinnacles Hut has 80 beds, gas cookers, heating, toilets and cold showers. The 10-bunk Crosbies Hut is a four- to six-hour tramp from Thames or the Kauaeranga Valley. There are also four basic backcountry campsites in this part of the park: one near each hut and others at Moss Creek and Billygoat Basin; expect only a toilet. A further eight conservation campsites are accessible from Kauaeranga Valley Rd. Bookings must be made online for the huts and some of the campsites.