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After a 2-hour picturesque trip from Coromandel Town along the increasingly challenging gravel road we reach Stony Bay at the end of the eastern road. Here we find a 5-hectare DOC campground and the start of the Coromandel Coastal Walkway.
COROMANDEL’S MOST POPULAR WALK
The 10 km walk stretches between Stony Bay and Fletcher Bay and traverses pristine bush, dramatic coastline and open farmland with stunning views towards Great Barrier Island (Aotea Island), the Pacific Ocean, and the Hauraki Gulf.
The ancient bridle path is one used for centuries by the early pioneers, both Maori and Pakeha. After around 1hr 15min there is a signposted lookout with outstanding photographs north to the Pinnacles and Great Barrier Island, and south towards Port Charles. This is a great place for a bite of lunch.
Generally the track is an easy gradient with one steep section into and out of Poley Bay near the middle of the walk. In the heat of a summer day a swim here will be tempting but beware of submerged rocks. This is not recommended if there is any swell – better maybe to wait until Fletcher Bay at the end of the walk where there is a further DOC campground, safe swimming, and good fishing.
If you’re still feeling energetic there is the option of an additional 45-minute walk on the Muriwai Track along the coastal cliff towards Cape Colville, finishing with a pleasant stroll along the Port Jackson Beach.
The return journey down the western coastline back to Coromandel is always accompanied by the beautiful colour changes of the evening light and often includes a spectacular sunset. Because the Hauraki Gulf is a flooded rift valley the road follows the sea edge for a large part of the trip home.
Make sure your camera is fully charged and ready for the number of photographs you will want to take on this incredibly gorgeous coast, whose ancient Pohutukawa trees give the trip a Jurassic feel. There are no dinosaurs still around but keep an eye out just in case.
A must for keen walkers, this spectacular trail links the East and West coast roads of the Northern Coromandel together. Start the walk at Stony Bay and finish at Fletcher Bay, then sit back and enjoy the superb sunsets down the western coastline.
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