Coromandel Hike

We’ve been in Coromandel Town for almost two weeks now. We sorely apologize for our lack of attention to the website, we just seemed to have fallen into a routine. As you know we are working while in Coromandel Town, which has turned out to be a bit different than we had expected, and it has taken up most of our energy. Lots has happened in two weeks, but this post will be about a hike we did. Don’t worry, I’ll be posting a couple more things over the next few days about working, meeting people, and other tid-bits. But anyway, here’s how our journey began:
One of our coworkers Narumi brought home a map of surrounding hikes we could do. David and I hadn’t been on a good hike since arriving in Coromandel Town so we were itching for one. To our amazement there are many around here that go up through the mountains or down around the bay. The longest hike on the map caught my eye, Kaipawa Track, 2 hours one way. I figured if we had an early day we could all scoot out by noon or one and be back before sunset. Most of our longer adventures David and I tend to be quite optimistic on time and difficulty, which has come back to bite us. But we’ve made it safely home every time though. This hike would consist of: A 30 min walk from our lodge to a short 15 min walk (Taumatawahine Track) which leads to Success Track which is 50 min long and connects to Kaipawa Track (the two hour track). There and back would take us about 6 hours, and with the sun setting at about 5:30pm leaving at 1:00pm really wouldn’t give us enough time. We left at 1:00pm.
The first couple of hours was easy, mainly just hot. The sun was out and the trail was wide enough for the rays to make their way down to us. The trail was steep as we were traversing a mountain, and later, many mountains. We came across lots of dark tunnels once used for mining. We even stumbled upon an old abandoned tractor that was stuck at the top of a landslide. Once we hit the largest of the three tracks were ready for a break. We sat with a beautiful view ahead of us and got something in our stomachs as we prepared for the rest of our adventure. The next leg was a doozy. The trail become less and less maintained and even more sloped (not a great combination). Narumi and I fell a few times. Though the track was difficult the scenery was breathtaking. As we ascended into the maintain top we entered the clouds above. Every morning I look out at the mountains we were standing on and see the clouds rolling over their tops. It’s very rare that I get to see their tips. Now as we hiked, we were in those clouds. The temperature dropped dramatically as the clouds blew by us. We came upon a weather vain (or so I think) and thought we had reached the end of our trail. We stopped for a quick break and a photo shoot and then we were on our way.

We quickly realized that we were in fact only half way through the longest track. With the sunset only an hour and a half away, and us more than 3 hours from home, we decided to forge ahead as the trail would lead us to a road we could take back. In the last photo of the three above you can see the clouds and how thick they were, this is also the road that the trail lead us to. From the road it was only an hour and a half hike back home. Somewhere along the road I left our water bottle, don’t ask me how. I’m quite upset about it actually, it was from L.L. Bean, and thought not expensive, it had sentimental value.
One thing you will quickly notice in NZ is the abundance of fruit trees, mainly lemon and mandarin (this may only be because of the season) in peoples lawns. The trees are always packed full of fruit, seemingly untouched. I believe this is due to the seasonality of the homes here, and now is not the season to be in them. Every tree we passed we assessed the possibility of procuring some of the sweet citrus that hung in wait. We did find a row of trees near a seemingly quiet home, but I only had the courage to grab three.
We made it home not long after sunset with aching bodies.
This land is beautiful. We are so lucky to be able to be here and to observe everything it has to offer. And we’re thankful for the friends we’re making along the way, especially the ones that’ll tolerate David and I on long hikes.

Ethan M.

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