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.
(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.
- 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.
- 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 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.
(This will be updated with more details closer to date, and some parts of itinerary will be decided during trip.)
- 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
- 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
- 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.
- 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)
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).
- DOC Coromandel recreation brochure (PDF, 2.6MB)
- 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
- 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)
- $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).
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.
(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.
- 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).
- 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? :-)