Pinnacles Walk via Pinnacles Hut

Stunning views on our Pinnacles Walk ©

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We set out from the road end of Kauaeranga Valley and hiked our way up the Pinnacles track. On reaching the Pinnacles summit, we were rewarded with spectacular views.

Firstly, we did the Pinnacles walk in a day and didn’t stay overnight as other hikers might. Although once we got to the hut, it was so impressive, it would have been easy to stay. More importantly, we enjoyed a big day walk, stopping over in the Pinnacles hut would have been nice if we’d had the time. Another added bonus of staying at the hut is watching the sunset and sunrise.

We stocked up in Thames with plenty of food to last the whole day. After that, we stopped in at the Kauaeranga Visitor Centre which is around 8k before the start of the walk. However, we thought it would be a good idea to pick up a brochure of the Pinnacles walk. We found it wasn’t really necessary because it’s pretty easy to follow the marked track.

Thinking of staying at the hut on the Pinnacles hike?

Of course, if you’re going to stay at the Pinnacles hut you need to buy your tickets online before you get there. These are available at the visitor centre before you get walking. 

In conclusion, we really enjoyed the extra grunt up to the Pinnacles summit for the fantastic views of the rangers and out to the East Coast.

You’ll find this walk is full of gold mining history dating way back to late 1800 which is particularly interesting.

Quick Facts about the Pinnacles Walk in Coromandel

  • Location: Thames, Coromandel, North Island NZ
  • Distance: 6 km
  • Time needed: It only took us 2.5 hours, DOC say it’s a 3 hour walk one way to the summit.
  • Difficulty: Medium to hard
  • Wheelchair Access: No
  • Route: One Way
  • Elevation: 759m
  • Wet Feet: No
  • Toilets: Yes, at the visitor centre and at the hut
  • Dogs: No
  • Mobile Coverage: No
  • Last Updated: Jan 2022
Pinnacles Walk Thames, Coromandel

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Summary points on the Pinnacles Walk

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Points of interest along the Pinnacles Walk

1: The Kauaeranga Valley Carpark

From the carpark follow the road alongside the river for five minutes, then cross over the Kauaeranga River 45m swing bridge. After twenty minutes from the bridge, there is a turnoff to the left, however, this track crosses over the Webb Creek and follows the Kauaeranga River. You walk straight ahead and follow the track up the Webb Creek to the old logging camp.

Once across the swing bridges, you can say goodbye to the holiday and hello to the workout. If you think this is hard work think about the poor pack horses carrying supplies to the tree cutters. Take it easy on the steps, they can be very slippery.

2: The Loggers Camp

The Logger’s camp is at 1 hour and 30 minutes, where you’ll find a toilet up to the right of the hut. This area was used as a base camp for power companies to helicopter huge power lines across the valley.

3: Pinnacles Hut

1 hour to the Pinnacles hut from the Loggers camp. The walking is a little better but the views make up for the heavy rain. After, twenty minutes from the Pinnacles hut you can get a better idea of the walk up to the top of the Pinnacles plus you get a good view of the hut.

More importantly, (after several hundred thousand dollars was spent) you’ll find the Pinnacles hut is decked out with everything you need and more. Furthermore, it’s really big too, with loads of room for everyone.

Here’s a quick sum-up of what you’ll find at the Pinnacles Hut:
  • 80 bunk beds with mattresses (split into two bunkrooms).
  • 3 non flush chemical long drop toilets (no smell or major issues with bugs).
  • Sorry, only a cold shower is available after a long day hiking.
  • A gas kitchen with plenty of cooking stations and a large BBQ area is available.
  • There is plenty of cooking gear, cutlery, plates etc.
  • Lighting is by way of a solar power system.
  • Heating is from the solid fuel burner, with wood supplied
  • A warden is present at all times.
  • Water is limited and not always available. It is from the tap, but not treated, so boil before drinking.
  • Check-in by 2.30 pm and out of the Pinnacles Hut by 9 am.
  • The kitchen and bunkrooms are closed between 9 am and 2.30 pm.
  • For emergency assistance, try the warden’s hut which is the old Pinnacles hut before this fancy new one was built. 
  • The hut must be booked online in advance.

4: The top of the Pinnacles Summit

It took me 30 mins to jump over the giant mud holes, crawl and climb to the top. On a sunny day the views would have been out of this world, however, it wasn’t that good today. On looking to the East you can just make out Pauanui beach and the township of Tairua.

5: Short walks near The Pinnacles

There are a few more short walks in this area, unfortunately, we don’t have them listed here. If you go to the Whangaiterena campsite, there is a notice board showing walks on it from 1 hour to 4 hours. You’ll find the campsite is up the Kauaeranga Valley Rd the same road on the way to the Pinnacles.

Or call into the visitor centre at Shag Stream campsite, they should be able to help as well, it’s also on the same road. If you go to the Thames visitor centre before going up the road and ask for the phone number, give them a call before you go to make sure it’s actually open.

More walks in Thames and Coromandel

What sort of walking and hiking gear will you need

We’ve partnered with Macpac outdoor walking & hiking gear to bring you the very best products designed exclusively for our New Zealand climate. They’ll ship for FREE within NZ on orders over $100 (if under $100 it’s only $5). Worldwide international shipping is available except to the USA. Bulky orders will be $20.

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