Day 46. Early drive to Port Jackson DOC Camp on the Coromandel Coast. 3.5 hour drive turned out to be 6 hours, but worth every minute.
Waiau Falls – a stop on the way along a winding gravel road – 10 minute return. Almost in the middle of nowhere through thick bush, but what a gem. Very pretty Falls and considering the washboard gravel road to get there, quite busy.
Port Jackson….Beautiful 1.5 Km long white sandy beach, this DOC camp can hold up to 500 people at their busiest time, our two night stay here was shared with only 8 other camper vans. We parked Aramoana Two side on, just back from the shore to make the most of this stunning location.
Day 47. Muriwai Hilltop Walk – 2 hour Loop track 6km
We started this walk from our beach walking to the end to access the well marked track. An early start – 8am – we were hoping to beat the heat. All the best laid plans….
A pod of Dolphins just out from the shore line as the tide was on its way in, were swimming from one side of the bay to the other, herding fish nearer and nearer to shore.
Nine o’clock came and went as we watched enthralled, as the pod worked together, eventually the fish seemed to have been trapped between rocks, shore and dolphins. Slapping tails on the surface the fish feast began.
Two hours later we finally continued our beach walk to the start of our track up and over rolling green hills
Along the ridge looking out to sea and rugged coastline…
Through forest of natural arches…
Back out in the open, views looking back to Port Jackson and down over the edge to rocky drops below sending Long-sufferings legs aquiver.
And then looking down we spied our pod of dolphins along the coast before they disappeared out into the darker waters of the open sea…
Rolling pasture land and a dusty gravel road back to finish..
Followed by a refreshing swim in the sea to cool off…
Barbecue and sunset…
Day 48. Early morning 3km walk along the beach, before our 5km dusty gravel road drive round the corner to Fletcher Bay DOC Camp, dipping our tyres through the ford along the way.
A picture perfect quiet spot all on our own…
Coromandel Walkway 4 hour return to our camp including lookout via Poley Bay.
Beautiful walk starting out from Fletcher bay, steps over stock fence taking us up overlooking our camp and bay below then away over rolling pasture looking out to the Pacific Ocean and rugged coastline.
A lone tree in the landscape rising up from a bed of green, vivid against the forest surrounding it.
Forty minutes in the orange sand tracks past cows grazing on open pasture changed suddenly into thick forest enclosing us within, steep, narrow and rocky. Sheer drops to the barely visible emerald sea below kept us moving as far from the edge as possible.
And then we dropped right down, crossing a rocky stream looking down to Poley Bay a rocky deserted beach.
As with all our walks what goes down must return upwards! The narrow track was steep and rocky, but oh our reward as we popped out to an open ridge was plenty payback. Stunning panoramic views and a seat set back from the track and its vertical drop to choppy sea below was a welcome spot for a snack stop.
Then it was back into thick shady forest, picnic lunch stop noted….
before our final five minute rock climb up to the lookout – hot sun and zero shade. Stunning panoramic views over the Hauaraki Gulf. Quick photo stop before a sliding exit down the loose gravel, our feet going off in all directions as they slid into the deep channels carved out over time by heavy rain.
Lunch in the shade, before the ninety minute trek back to base revisiting the glorious views in the opposite direction.
Evening stroll on the beach…..