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Coromandel Forest Park

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Coromandel Forest Park offers over 30 trails in area between a little town of Paerora in south to Cape Colville in northern part of Coromandel peninsula. As Auckland - where lives one third of the country's entire population, is just a short drive away, park could be very crowded on weekends. Most popular part is called Pinnacles near Kauaeranga Valley. DOC built an 80 - bed Pinnacles hut for trampers here. Hut has cold shower , gas cooker and stove. A night at hut cost NZ$15 per person and has to bee pre booked at park's visitor centre. I did not stay here and left such crowd behind me as fast was possible. There are several campsites in the valley where you can stay for a night.

At the beginning of 19 th century Kauri logging was a big industry here. Wood was use for ship manufacturing. In second half of 19 th century was near Thames discovered gold. Discovery of gold lead to Kauri logging along Kauaeranga river flowing through Kauaeranga Valley. You can still use unpaved road through the valley as access into Coromandel Forest Park. Along road are several campsites. Around 1860 logging spreads also into deeper bush and dams were built in order to use water power to get the timber to the coast. By the 1930's the logging of kauri on the peninsula was almost over. There was also built narrow railway to Billygoat Basin.

Climb from End road camp to Pinnacles hut did take me two hours. Trail called Webb Creek-Billygoat circuit leads partly on stony old horse trail. Stony stairs should help to cargo horses to carry supplements into higher situated camps. Trail section from Pinnacles hut to Pinnacles lookout was not so easy and person with worse physical conditions could has problems.


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