Camp beside a river in a quiet rural valley and walk through native forest to a picturesque waterfall and abandoned gold mines.
South of Whangamata, a road leads up the rural Wentworth Valley to a quiet Department of Conservation camping ground. It's hard to imagine this area was once a large gold mining settlement employing up to 300 people and bristling with houses, shops and schools!
Today, you'll find tent and motorhome sites in a beautiful riverside setting. From the camping ground, several walks lead to waterfalls and early mining relics.
The popular Waterfall Track crosses the Wentworth River twice (it's only ankle deep) before climbing to a good view of the spectacular falls.
The Mines Walk passes through regenerating forest along the base of a steep hillside. There are two short mine shafts visible from the track (no public access) as well as heaps of rock and earth taken from many mines in the area. The track drops back down to the stream opposite the picnic area.
For experienced hikers wanting more of a workout, it's possible to link up with tracks coming out of the Maratoto Valley on the other side of the Coromandel Range. The traverse from the Wentworth Valley all the way inland to the Maratoto Valley takes five hours one way.