Fletcher Bay, Coromandel Peninsula - 3 Day Labour Weekend Trip

Update (Sat 5:30pm): Backpackers is now fully booked! There are plenty of available campsite spaces at same location.

For Labour Weekend, we are going to Coromandel Peninsula for a 3 day trip, staying 2 nights at Fletcher Bay Backpackers and Campsite on the northern tip of the peninsula. On Sunday we'll loop hike to Stony Bay via Coromandel Walkway and back via the mountain bike track, with great coastal views. On Saturday and Monday we'll do a variety of shorter hikes on our way to Fletcher Bay and back for more great views, coastline, and native forest.

Duration: 3 days, 2 nights. Sunday hike: about 8 hours, including stops. Saturday and Monday: up to 4 hours hiking each day.
Difficulty: Sunday loop hike is probably a 4 on our 1-5 scale. The mountain bike track includes a long steepish uphill climb to elevation above 500m followed by long downhill that may be slippery in places. Coromandel Walkway is mostly gently undulating on well formed track with max elevation about 160m. Doing this as a return hike can be an easier (average difficulty) backup option. Either way, the Sunday hike is about 20km, which is quite long, although we have all day to complete this. Other walks on this trip will be shorter and easier than average.

Weather Update (Fri 8am): Metservice forecast for Coromandel currently suggests: becoming cloudy Saturday; period of rain followed by showers on Sunday; showers on Monday with rain developing later in day. This trip will go ahead regardless of weather (so long as roads to Fletcher Bay remain open and safe to drive), although Monday may be shortened if raining persistently.

Important Notes:
(1) To help simplify things and have smaller group size, this trip is currently only for people who are planning to attend the whole 3 day trip (from 9:15am Saturday up to 7pm Monday).
(2) It is up to each attending person to book their own Backpackers or Campsite accommodation at Fletcher Bay. Backpackers is now fully booked, but Campsite is likely to remain an option for anyone with a tent who is willing to camp. You can check availability and book online here. See Accommodation at Fletcher Bay section below for more details.
(3) Carpooling depends on having enough transport. If you need a ride, booking accommodation includes a small risk that we may not have enough transport to take you there. If we don't have enough transport, higher passenger priority will be given to: backpacker bookers, then campsite bookers, then non-booking RSVPs - and within each category, earlier will have higher priority than later.

Basic Plan:
- Saturday: meet 9:15am at Victoria Park New World for carpooling, then meet at Bombay for additional carpooling, then drive to Fletcher Bay, stopping at a few places for short hikes along the way. Stay overnight at Fletcher Bay.
- Sunday: Loop day hike to Stony Bay and back. Stay 2nd night at Fletcher Bay.
- Monday: Drive back to Auckland, stopping at a few places for short hikes and optional Miranda Hot Springs on the way back.

Meeting Places:
- Victoria Park New World is our initial meeting place for carpooling. (If you haven't met us there before, you can read more details here.)
- Bombay BP Station (just off Bombay motorway exit 471 on right) is our second meeting place for additional carpooling.
- Then we will drive to Fletcher Bay.
- See Google Map directions with markers:
-- A: Victoria Park New World
-- B: Bombay BP Station, Mill Road
-- C: Waiomu Kauri Grove
-- D: Kauri Block Track, Long Bay
-- E: Papa Aroha Scenic Reserve
-- F: Fantail Bay
-- G: Port Jackson Campsite (west end of Muriwai Walk)
-- H: Muriwai Walk carpark (east end of Muriwai Walk)
-- I: Fletcher Bay  

Carpooling:
- Carpooling will be arranged for everyone meeting at New World after we arrive there (transport permitting - you can read more details about carpooling here).
- Best if most drivers meet at New World first as most people who need a ride will be meeting there. The option to drive straight to Bombay is only intended if New World is significantly out of your way.
- The road between Colville and Fletcher Bay is unsealed.
- For this longer trip, group carpooling will be arranged for everyone attending whole trip with carpool costs shared by whole group rather than individually for each vehicle. We'll decide how much to give each carpool vehicle owner in advance (taking more than fuel into account, owners can help decide how much), and each carpool passenger will be asked to pay same amount (around $40-50, to be decided) to cover this. This will ensure vehicle owners are all fairly compensated, and allow passengers to freely swap vehicles for more variety during trip.

Approximate Itinerary:
(This will be updated with more details closer to date, and some parts of itinerary will be decided during trip.)
Saturday:

- 09:15 - Good time to arrive at New World, meet & greet
- 09:30 - Latest time to arrive at New World, arrange carpooling
- 09:35 - Leave New World
- 10:00 - Arrive at Bombay if driving straight there
- 10:15 - All at Bombay, additional carpooling
- 10:20 - Leave Bombay, drive to Coromandel Peninsula, short hikes on way
- 17:00 - Approx arrive at Fletcher Bay, stay overnight
Sunday:
- 09:00 - Approx start Coromandel Walkway hike
- 12:30 - Approx arrive at Stony Bay, lunch, explore
- 13:30 - Approx start mountain bike track
- 17:00 - Approx return Fletcher Bay, stay 2nd night
Monday:
- 09:00 - Approx leave Fletcher Bay, stopping for short hikes on way back
- 16:00 - Approx arrive Miranda Hot Springs (optional)
- 19:00 - Plan to return to Auckland no later than this time.

Maps:
- Online NZ Topo map of Fletcher Bay area
- Online NZ Topo map of Coromandel Walkway
- DOC map of Fletcher Bay Campsite and Backpackers
- Google map of hike locations with directions (can zoom in each marker for closer satellite view)

Main Hike:
The main hike of this trip is planned for Sunday ...
- Coromandel Walkway loop between Fletcher Bay and Stony Bay.
- Distance: About 20km (Coromandel Walkway is 10km one way; mountain bike track is 8km, then need to repeat about 2km of Coromandel Walkway).  
- Duration: About 8 hours total including an hour or so at Stony Bay.
- We'll probably loop clockwise, via Coromandel Walkway to Stony Bay and back via steeper mountain bike track. This direction will allow backup option of easier return same way for anyone not sure they can complete the loop.
- While at Stony Bay, we can optionally explore part of Stony Bay Fishing Track.
- Note: NZ Topo map shows a couple of alternative tracks for Coromandel Walkway that may or may not be currently accessible, and mountain bike track is labelled Stony Bay Track.

Shorter Hikes and Walks:
The following short hikes and walks are on the way to Fletcher Bay. These are planned for Saturday on the way there and Monday on the way back. Which ones we do each day is not yet decided. Links are to DOC webpages. Distances and times are suggested by DOC.
- Waiomu Kauri Grove, short return hike, inland from Waiomu settlement, 12.5km north of Thames. 2.5km one way; 2½ hours return.
- Kauri Block Track, short return hike near Coromandel town. 1.6km one way; 1½ hours return.
Papa Aroha, short walk through scenic reserve to beach, adjoining Papa Aroha Holiday Park, 14km north of Coromandel town. 400m one way; 40 min return.
- Fantail Bay, short hike up from Fantail Bay campsite to bushline. 1.5km one way, 1 hour return.
- Muriwai Walk, between Muriwai Hilltop and Port Jackson campsite. 6km loop, including road section; 2 hours return. Probably Monday morning. We can include short car shuttle to avoid walk on road.
- We can also explore Fletcher Bay coast, including Sugar Loaf Rocks and Pinnacles, as optional early morning or early evening low tide walks while staying at Fletcher Bay.
- Other short hikes in Coromandel Peninsula that aren't far out of way may also be considered for inclusion. 

Fletcher Bay Accommodation:
- DOC offers the choice of backpacker or campsite accommodation at Fletcher Bay.
- Fletcher Bay Backpackers: $25.50/night. Max 16 people. 4 bedrooms with 4 bunk beds each. Facilities include spacious lounge, fully equipped kitchen, and bathroom. Suitable for any weather.
- Fletcher Bay Campsite: $10/night. Basic facilities including cold showers. Max 250 people with 96 sites divided into 7 pods.
- See DOC map of Campsite and Backpackers (PDF, 442kB). Backpackers is next to pod 7 of campsite.
- Backpackers is limited to 16 people and is now fully booked. Although a room must be specified when booking, we can probably arrange different rooms when we get there.
- Campsite is likely to remain an option for anyone with a tent who is willing to camp. Only 2 pods are currently open for bookings, but all other pods are expected to open for Labour weekend. Need to specify pod (1-7) when booking, but can probably change when we get there if not heavily booked. There is probably no need to book campsite early, but best to keep an eye on availability.
Click here to check backpackers/campsite availability and book online.
- Can also book at DOC office or by phone or email, although extra booking fee applies.
- See DOC Terms and Conditions before booking.
- Dates to book are: 20-21 October. Update your RSVP comment if/when you make a booking, thanks :-)
- Note: DOC doesn't allow campers to use backpacker facilities. We'll look to spend some time as whole group at campsite, perhaps around an open fire (restricted to concrete fireplaces provided).

More Information:
- DOC Coromandel recreation brochure (PDF, 2.6MB)

Bring:
- enough food and drink for 3 days
- clothing for 3 days, 2 nights
- footwear suitable for tramping tracks
- sun and rain protection
- sleeping bag and other sleeping gear
- torch
- toiletries
- towel
- swimming gear (for optional sea swim and/or hot pools)
- tent (if camping)
- portable cooker (if camping and want cooked food)
- plastic bags for muddy footwear
- first-aid items
- anything to keep you entertained while not hiking
- money: (see costs below)

Costs:
- $40-50 cash (to be decided) if carpool passenger.
- 2 nights accommodation: $51 for Backpackers or $20 if camping (bring cash if haven't booked).
- Miranda Hot Springs admission: $13 (optional).

Kauri Dieback:
To help prevent the spread of kauri dieback disease in Coromandel Ranges, we are advised to:
- Clean and remove all soil from footwear and other hiking gear before entering kauri forest (especially if visited Waitakere Ranges recently);
- Use any footwear cleaning stations provided on hikes;
- Stay on tracks and avoid standing on kauri roots.

Notes:
(1) We have had trips to Coromandel Peninsula before, but this will be the first time we explore northern Coromandel, and all the suggested hikes are new for our group.
(2) 9:30am is the latest time to arrive at New World and 10:15am is the latest time to arrive at Bombay if driving straight there. (These times may change closer to the date). We may not wait for late people to arrive. Arriving early is good :-)
(3) We'll aim to hike together as a group with stops at track junctions, but there's no guarantee this will happen so prepare for this trip as best you can (study hike descriptions, maps, etc).
(4) For all hikes on this trip we'll walk at a moderate pace that is comfortable for most people in the group with stops at places of interest along the way.
(5) High tides are around 11:30am (Sat), 12:30pm (Sun) and 1:30pm (Mon). Low tides are about 6 hours before and after high tide (early morning and early evening).
(6) Monday, 22 October is a public holiday.

RSVP:
- If you are interested to attend it will help if you:
-- Read all these details carefully;
-- RSVP online soon (and answer RSVP questions) before 12 noon Friday, 19 October;
-- Specify in your RSVP comment if/when you book accommodation;
-- Update your RSVP later if you decide not to attend or anything you specified is no longer accurate.
- There are several RSVP questions about certainty of attending, meeting places, transport, accommodation, options, and return time. Answering these will help with planning - the more details you can provide, the better - thanks :-)
- Note, answers to RSVP questions are only readable by Organizers. If there's anything you want rest of group to read, enter this in your RSVP comment (under Yes/No options).

Trip Discussions:
- You can discuss anything you like about this trip on our Message Board Discussion for this trip.
- You can also post a "join the conversation" comment below, but be aware that each post sends an e-mail to everyone else who has posted a comment or RSVPed Yes, so best to use this sparingly, only if your comment is likely to be of interest to rest of the group.
- If you are mainly communicating with one person, then may be better to just send e-mail message to that member.

Are you interested to attend? :-)

Join or login to comment.

  • Anna-Lena

    It was a great adventure, thanks everyone for the nice company! Especially thank you to you Stephen!

    November 2, 2012

  • Michele J.

    An adventure I will not soon forget, thanks to the wonderful people and planning put into this event. : ) Good leader = Thanks S.H.

    October 27, 2012

  • Matthew

    Thanks Stephen, a fantastic getaway and great company.

    October 24, 2012

  • Sherry

    Fantastic!Enjoyed the hikes,awesome views and great bunch of people! Thank u Stephen and thank you all for making it so memorable!

    October 23, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Beautiful peaceful location and great range of walks all with amazing views. Had a great time with everybody looking forward to the next one! Well organised as ever. Thanks to Stephen!

    October 23, 2012

  • Jos

    Choice! :-)

    October 23, 2012

  • Mary

    A very enjoyable and well-organised trip. Beautiful scenic walks and great company.
    Thanks Stephen :)

    October 23, 2012

  • Raj K.

    excellent walks, great company

    October 23, 2012

  • Neda Z.

    Fantastic!

    October 22, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Awesome weekend! Thank you Stephen, for organising a great trip!

    October 22, 2012

  • Paul L

    Excellent Stephen, the aroma of the bush is best in wet weather., esp. when you experience it together.

    October 22, 2012

  • Anna-Lena

    Sorry, I came home late from work.
    Rajesh I text you my exact adress.
    See you!

    October 19, 2012

  • Raj K.

    Hi stephen/Ann. I haven't received any reply from ANN about the exact pick up location. I dont even have her mobile number. So i am not sure where will I find her on Great South Road, papakura.

    October 19, 2012

  • Raj K.

    Hi Sherry. I will pick you up around 9 Am. Be ready. Hi Ann- Lena. I will pick you up around 9.30 AM. As you advised, I will pick you up from Great south Road, Papakura. Please text me the exact pick up location.

    October 19, 2012

  • Raj K.

    Hi Stephen

    So it is finalised. I will pick up Sherry, Michele and Anna and meet you at Bomaby . I can have one more pessenger in my car from bombay if needed.

    October 19, 2012

  • Raj K.

    Hi Stephen, About transport, as I understand Sherry, Anna -Lena, Cathy Tsui and Michele jean has asked for the lift. That leaves no space in my car. However, I am not sure whether all 4 are still going and need lift. Could Sherry, Anna-Lean, Cathy Tsui and Michele Jean plz confirm that you need lift? Please also text your addresses where I need to pick you up. My mobile number is 0221084809. Thanks

    October 19, 2012

    • Raj K.

      Hi cathy, v need not go to New World if u live in east/south?

      October 19, 2012

    • Cathy T.

      I live in North Shore. Maybe the best is that I get a ride from New world. You can drop me if that is more convenient for you.

      October 19, 2012

  • Stephen

    Thanks Rajesh for offering to pick up passengers and/or drive to New World if needed. At this stage I suggest pick passengers on way to Bombay. I will send e-mail update to Yes RSVPers about carpooling, etc, shortly :-)

    October 19, 2012

  • Michele J.

    I am going.... just confirmed and will get a ride with Rajesh : )

    October 19, 2012

  • Sherry

    Hi Rajesh, I thought i confirmed pretty much last week about the ride. Everything is booked and come rain or shine, I will be going. More adventurous with the weather forecast but we all know weather forecast it can change in a flash and when its supposed to be wet can turn out to be hot and sunny!!!!Please let me know the time when you will come to pick me up. Thanks

    October 19, 2012

  • Anna-Lena

    Does anybody know what the weather will be like at the weekend?
    Weather Forecast announced a lot of rain...

    October 18, 2012

  • Stephen

    I have just added markers for planned hike locations on the Google directions map (note, some hikes will be done on way there and others on way back). It will help if everyone has a good idea where we are going before we meet, especially drivers :-)

    October 18, 2012

  • Raj K.

    Hi Stephan/Anna I guess can pick Anna up on the way.

    October 18, 2012

  • Anna-Lena

    Hey there!
    I was just wondering if someone has a spare place in his car and would be willing to go off the motorway in Papakura (pick me up there) and go back to the motorway in Drury?
    That would be really great, so I don't have to take all my gear by bus to the city.

    See you!

    October 17, 2012

    • Stephen

      Hi Anna-Lena, we'll see if one of the cars driving straight to Bombay can pick you up on the way, otherwise we'll arrange for one of the New World cars to do this. If anyone else who needs a ride prefers to be picked up from a motorway exit on the way south, we can probably arrange this to save a trip to New World.

      October 18, 2012

  • Jos

    Hey Stephen, do you know if there are mattresses in the Fletcher Bay backpackers? The DOC website mentions "pillows and duvets provided", but no mention of mattresses.

    October 15, 2012

    • Stephen

      Hi Jos, I think we can assume mattresses will be provided, especially if relative luxury of pillows and duvets are provided :-) ... Even the most basic backcountry DOC huts normally provide mattresses for bunk beds. We will probably need to bring own linen and/or sleeping bags.

      October 15, 2012

  • Raj K.

    Hi Stephen I can come to new world to pick up

    October 15, 2012

  • Stephen

    Backpackers is now fully booked! I don't know who booked a space in room C for Sunday only, but I think all the other spaces have been booked by members of our group who have RSVPed.
    If you haven't booked yet, camping is still an option. DOC prefers campsite to be booked in advance, but cancellation fees are less encouraging to do this. There is probably no need to book campsite unless it looks like it may become fully booked or if you need a ride and want to have higher passenger priority. (At this stage I think we have enough transport for everyone who needs a ride, and there's no need to arrange a ride from New World before we meet). I'll probably send an e-mail update to Yes RSVPers later tonight.

    October 13, 2012

  • Sherry

    Hi Stephen, I have made a booking for sat and sun at Fletcher bay backpackers

    October 12, 2012

  • Raj K.

    Hi Sherry, consider it booked.

    October 12, 2012

  • Sherry

    Hi Rajesh Can you reserve a place in your car? thanks

    October 12, 2012

  • Martina & Willie H.

    Hi Stephen,
    We have booked 2 bunks in the Backpackers today. We will carpool with Mary and meet the rest of the group at the BP station.
    Cheers
    Martina & Willie

    October 12, 2012

  • Stephen

    Reminder: To help simplify things and have a smaller group, this trip is currently only for people who are planning to attend the whole 3 day trip, from 9:15am Saturday up to 7pm Monday (may return earlier if don't choose Miranda hot pools option) ... This may change later, depending on numbers, but for now, best not to book accommodation (especially Backpackers) unless planning to attend the whole 3 day trip, thanks :-)

    October 12, 2012

    • Cathy T.

      I booked the backpacker just now. It seems alike only 4 spaces left in backpacker now.

      October 12, 2012

  • Raj K.

    Hi cathy You are welcome to join the ride. All the details for bakpacker bookings are given above

    October 12, 2012

  • Raj K.

    I just made booking for a space in backpacker. I can provide ride to 4 people. I can pick anybody from EAST/SOUTH or may be I can come to NEWWORLD to pick up.

    October 12, 2012

    • Cathy T.

      ok Rajesh, if there is no other drivers, I would like to have a space in your car. by the way, what is the backpacker name?

      October 12, 2012

  • Stephen

    At this early stage, we are looking quite good for transport, but just in case we end up with not enough transport for everyone who needs a ride, I have clarified the passenger priority in Important Note 3. Backpacker bookers will have highest priority, followed by Campsite bookers, followed by non-booking RSVPers, and within each category earlier will have higher priority than later ... A short while ago, 11 out of 16 Backpacker spaces have been booked. Backpackers may become fully booked some time today. Once Backpackers is fully booked, Campsite will still be an option. If/when you make a booking, it will help if you specify on your RSVP comment or let me know, thanks :-)

    October 12, 2012

    • Cathy T.

      Hi Stephen, if you booked the backpacker already, let me know the contact. I suppose we gonna stay together.

      October 12, 2012

  • Cathy T.

    People from North Shore can give me a ride please let me know. I am at Birkenhead.

    October 11, 2012

  • Mike B.

    I have really got to make a effort to come out with you soon, all your trips sound really interesting. Unfortunately with my job I work a lot of the times you go out. This trip sounds like a good one, have a good tramp and hope the weathers good for you

    October 11, 2012

  • Stephen

    I have been to Fletcher Bay once before, many years ago. I enjoyed exploring the Pinnacles and Sugar Loaf coastal rocks there. I haven't done any of the hikes on this trip before but they all seem fairly straightforward to me :-)

    October 11, 2012

  • Stephen

    When I booked a Backpackers space late this morning, there were no other Backpackers or Campsite bookings for 20-21 October. It is possible we may be the only ones staying in the Backpackers, but people who aren't part of our group may book to stay there too. The Campsite has plenty of space. Bookings were only open for Pods 1 & 5 of campsite, but DOC person I phoned said the other pods are likely to be open for Labour weekend too. I don't think there is any urgency to book campsite if you prefer to camp.

    October 11, 2012

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