Wildboy Climbs The Pinnacles
Brando Yelavich is a New Zealand adventurer and explorer and the first person to walk the whole 8300km of coastline of New Zealand. Brando was attracted to The Coromandel after falling in love with the place and one of our locals in particular. Brando’s enthusiasm and love of the wild are infectious, as you’ll note in his words and photos below.
Check out more of Brando's adventures at www.wildboy.co.nz
A Wildboy’s perspective of The Pinnacles
The Pinnacles have really blown me away with the beautiful diversity and accessibility. Two and a half hours from Auckland and you can be deep into the Coromandel Forest Park. You will be treated to some of the most beautiful views in the North Island.
Kaueranga Valley, Thames
The Pinnacles track is in the Coromandel Forest park on the east coast of New Zealand.
The track can be done in one 8 hour day or in two days with a night in The Pinnacles Hut or camp ground.
I parked up at the end of the Kauaeranga Valley road at the start of the track to the Pinnacles hut. It was still drizzling as I took the first step on what was going to be an easy 3 hour walk to the hut. 5 minutes in and I came across the first river crossing. I walked through the water instead of using the bridge…
The Pinnacles Heritage Walk
The track was wet and slippery from the rain, that made it all the more exciting half an hour in and I came across the most beautiful stairs that had been carved out of the rock.
There were lots of birds, they were singing in the middle of the day, it was wonderful!
As the ground started to flatten out I realised I was at the top of the stairs. The track from here was beautiful, cobblestone paths laid by the kauri loggers surrounded by manuka trees and young kauri that were just old enough to create a tunnel. It was magic.
The Pinnacles DOC Hut and summit
I made my way up to The Pinnacles hut where I met Pete the Ranger. What a cool guy, he runs the hut and makes sure nothing is going wrong. It was still drizzling at this stage.
I wasn't sure if I should just hike the last 45min up to the summit or just wait till the morning. I looked up at the top and the jagged rocks were submerged in thick fog!
They were calling me. So I grabbed my camera and started running up the hill, it was muddy! I hit the stairs and slowed down, there’s only about 160 of them before you get to an iron ladder that’s been bolted to a vertical rock wall.
Pacific Coast Sunrise, West Coast Sunset
The next morning when I woke, it was about 5:30 when I rolled over to look out the window and realised I could see stars! I jumped up grabbed my bag and started running back up the pinnacles, with the hope that I was going to get an amazing sunrise I sat on top of the highest point waiting for the sun to show itself, just as it did the fog came up from the bottom of the valleys creating one of the most precious moments of my trip to the Pinnacles in The Coromandel!
I spent that day exploring the surrounding area. climbing different peaks to get different perspectives. I came across beautiful waterfalls, ancient Kauri dams, tree stumps that were bigger than the biggest tree in New Zealand!
I climbed up the Pinnacles again to watch the sunset, it was once again so beautiful!
Billy Goat Track
On the way out I walked the Billy Goat track it is steep and slippery but the views you get are so beautiful. I walked with 3 tourists they were good company. That Day was epic! Massive waterfalls huge canyons and relics of the past. We followed a river down until it dropped into the most beautiful valley I have ever seen, cascading waterfalls everywhere. The rest of the walk out was amazing too, following the logging lines cut into the mountain used to haul logs on tracks.
Sleeping God Canyon
Wildboy has since returned to Kauaeranga Valley to conquer Sleeping God Canyon with Canyonz Adventure Company. Sleeping God Canyon can be seen at different stages on the Pinnacles and Billy Goat Tracks. It is a full day adventure of ziplines, abseiling, jumps and waterslides that can be done all year round. Visitors and locals alike are amazed that this year round epic adventure has gone unnoticed for so long, until now.
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