Hiking

Kiwi Dundee Adventures offer a variety of hiking and walks designed to suit, and for as many days as you like. One day hikes we pick up from accommodations in Pauanui – Tairua – Whangamata [see recommmended accom on One Day Tours]

For extended walks we use a variety of accommodation, depending our guests requirements from Luxury Lodges to B & B’s or Motor Lodges.

Below are a selection of some of the hiking tours available. Once you have made your selection please use our booking form to reserve your place.

SOUTHERN COROMANDEL EXPERIENCE.

Full Day Tour and Hike. Moderate challenge.

Ever changing panorama of forests, mountains, beaches and islands. Hike along secluded sandy beaches, through high rocky gorges, explore old gold mines set amidst spectacular scenery. Kiwi Dundee Adventures will first take you for a relaxing walk along one of their favourite secluded beaches with the glorious white sand & blue Pacific Ocean rippling at your feet. The Sand Spit is the nesting place of the rare Dotterel, & the Oyster Catches. Opoutere is a Bird Sanctuary with an interesting history. You will pass old Maori Middens & see the remains of the Maori Pa or fort up on the cliffs. Captain Cook named all the offshore islands as he sailed through this picturesque region. For those who enjoy walking this is a special place.

We then travel south to Waihi for lunch before driving to the spectacular Karangahake Gorge where we enter the ruins of the old Crown Battery, historically very important as the first place in the world where cyanide was used in the recovery of gold. President Hoover was here in the 1890’s to inspect the gold and silver ore.

These wonderful ruins, built from gold bearing rock, stand as ‘man’s’ determination and obsession to retrieve the gold from this rugged and beautiful area. Following the old miners road through regenerating forest we come to the junction of the Ohinemuri river and the Waitawheta stream, both emerging from stunning high rocky gorges. Crossing the river we are met with more ruins, this time the Woodstock battery, which used the power of the Ohinemuri river to drive their machines. Climbing the hill behind we reach the battery level of the Talisman mine,150ft [50meters] above the river, which we follow passing deep fenced off holes in the ground, used to roast the hard quartz rock, until we reach the inca like ruins of the Talisman battery. This was the third richest goldmine in New Zealand with nearly 5million ounces of gold and silver produced here. These ruins are so impressive, with 45ft [15mtr] high rock walls and huge bits of steel machinery laying around.

How did they get this all in place 100 years ago?

The walk is now through lovely forest filled with giant Mamaku fern trees until we reach a long tunnel with glowworms. Coming out the other side we are greeted with one of the grandest scenes you can see anywhere in New Zealand.

Rising hundreds of feet above our heads are stark, sheer rocky walls of the gorge and far below is the river flowing through the narrow canyon filled with giant rocks.

Directly ahead is a goldmine that we enter and much to your surprise we can see daylight ahead which are windows the miners blew out to dump the unwanted rock as they blasted their way back into the mountain chasing the elusive gold. These windows give us amazing views into the gorge.

RIVER AND WATERFALL MAGIC.

Full Day Hike. Moderately challenging.

Beautiful forests, streams, waterfalls, swimming pools, gold mines, crystals. This beautiful walk begins south of Whangamata where after leaving our vehicle we make our way back into New Zealand’s past.

Walking on an old horse tramline, which serviced the goldminers who lived in this valley in the 1890’s, we follow a very scenic bush-clad stream until we pass through old gold mining tunnels out onto a magnificent vista of rushing rapids and waterfalls. Here we have lunch before exploring old goldmines blasted out of crystalline quartz rock found in this stunning gorge with deep pools above and below waterfalls. A truly exciting day in nature and history.

WILDERNESS ADVENTURE WALK

Full Day Hike. Moderate Challenge: uneven surface.

The day starts with a walk through beautiful regenerating Kauri forest full of fern trees, along the old tracks of Puketui, the 1890’s gold mining town. See sparkling glowworms in old gold caves. Enjoy a hike through remnants of the mining days now given back to nature.

After a delicious packed lunch, wade the Tairua River, hike over farmland and enter into remote forest with its crystal clear rock pools surrounded by lush semi-tropical rainforest. The track leads us into spectacular flora with giant ferns, palms, ancient Kauri, and Rata trees. This is a step back in time with vegetation as ancient as the Dinosaurs and where the birds show no fear as we call them in.

Follow the creek into a hidden valley past volcanic rock walls rising 200 metres (800ft.). At a magic pool in the creek your guide can sometimes “introduce” you to some of the local “inhabitants”, which you will find hard to believe. Here you can enjoy a swim in the deep crystal clear pools before heading home leaving behind a very special part of our wonderful planet, which very few people get the chance to experience.

COROMANDEL THREE DAY WALKING TOUR FOR SMALL GROUPS

DAY ONE: HISTORICAL GOLD MINING WALK

90 YEARS AGO

“The date is June the 9th 1909 in the Puketui Valley near Hikuai. There is a hive of industry in the valley with the Brokenhills and Goldenhills batteries going at full steam crushing ore to retrieve the elusive gold and silver from the hard quartze rock. The pounding of these batteries can be heard echoing around the surrounding bush clad hills for miles as the rock is crushed to mud which is then mixed with a deadly “cocktail” of first mercury and then cyanide which collects the gold and silver for further processing. Further up the valley a bullock team heaves forward through the mud to the crack of the bullocky’s whip, who is shouting orders at the two leading bullocks as they strain to drag the heavy mining machinery destined for the Brokenhills mine.”

90 YEARS ON

Enjoy a day walking through a beautiful valley steeped in fascinating history of the famous gold mining days. We walk along the old historical road surrounded by Coromandel Peninsulas wondrous nature, beside the beautiful Tairua River, making our way into the old gold town of Puketui with is gold caves now home to thousands of shimmering glowworms. Your guide will take you back in time with the intriguing stories of the past as you walk through the beautiful regenerating nature of this wondrous region.

Lunch will be a delicious picnic beside the river in the shade of theTotara trees.Your guide will delight you with the ‘jewels’ of the mountains & region – rocks of gold, amethyst, obsidian & spectacular crystals. Old photos of the valley will take you back in time & show how it was. This memorable day will continue walking by a dairy farm surrounded by volcanic peaks rising out of the semi tropical rain forest, until we reach the old bridge where your coach will be waiting to take you to your accommodation after a very special day.

DAY TWO: SOUTHERN COROMANDEL PENINSULA COASTAL WALK

The spectacular Coromandel Peninsula is not only famous for its mountains & semi tropical rain forest, it is home to some of the most beautiful coastal scenery & beaches in the world. Today you will enjoy one of Kiwi Dundee Adventures most favourite places on the coast. We walk by the mangroves along the sandy track and through the pine forest alive with the calls of the Tui bird until we reach the estuary shoreline, where shell fish are in abundance for the sea birds and sea food lovers alike.

We stop to observe the ancient Maori Middens exposed by the wind in the white dunes along the way, and hear about the native people who lived here. The remains of an old Maori Pa [fortification] stands proudly on the hill.

The sand spit you walk around divides the sea from the estuary, and is home to many seabirds during nesting time and you will see seabirds there all year round.

As you walk along a stunning 8 kilometer long white sand beach, with no buildings in sight and the crystal clear waters of the mighty Pacific Ocean lapping at your feet, you will enjoy the breathtaking scenery of many offshore islands, named by Captain Cook in 1769 as he sailed around this magnificent scenic peninsula.

The temptation to stop to pick up shells is hard to resist even for the most serious walkers, or maybe to take off your boots and wade in the sea or perhaps even have a swim on this glorious beach!!

DAY THREE: SPECTACULAR WATERFALL & NATIVE BUSH WALK

JUNE 1897

“Far above the valley, on the tops, two men have just about cut through a massive Kauri. They have been working on this giant Kauri for over three days and the scarf in the side of the tree is big enough for a man to lie in. As they put in the final cut the giant tree, which has stood for 1800 years, gives a tremendous shudder, it’s death rattle, before lurching to one side then crashing to the ground smashing and crushing smaller trees in it’s path before coming to rest on the ground to the accompaniment of screeching alarm calls of the Tui, Kokako and many other birds.

A mile away near the headwaters of the rugged Third Branch of the Tairua river, a Kauri dam lays full and menacing , ready to be tripped to wash hundreds of Kauri logs down to the timber booms near Tairua. The dam which is 40ft high and 100ft across the top is about to be tripped for the first time, releasing millions of gallons of water and thousands of tons of timber into a virgin creek.

Dappled sunlight throws a mosaic patten on the pools which contain many of our native trout, a Kura or crayfish scuttles across the rocky bottom, a tiny native frog sits on a moss covered rock in the stream and a few feet away on a fern and moss covered log there grows a beautiful stand of our tiny Spider orchards, all blissfully unaware of what is about to happen to their world.

With a tremendous crack and a roar the dam is tripped sending a huge wall of water through the gate in the dam and over the waterfall in front followed by hundreds of Kauri logs.

Down into the unsuspecting valley go the water and logs rumbling and crashing their way through, tearing every vestige of greenery from the canyon walls encasing the creek below the dam, then as the valley widens out the water and the logs spread out over the banks knocking over all trees in their way, gouging off corners in the creek and moving huge rocks along with the giant flow, completely altering the beds and sides of the creek forever.”

100 YEARS ON

The beauty of the nature in the Coromandel is highlighted today with our walk through the semi tropical rain forest with its huge Nikau Palms and the worlds largest fern trees. We wind our way along an old horse-track, built in the 1880’s, beside the beautiful cool river with it’s many rapids and deep clear pools.

We will pause to learn the fascinating history of the giant Kauri forests that once stood here and the goldmines that were worked in this valley. Short side tracks take us to the remains of the gold stampers and old brick chimneys from the houses of the people who once lived and worked here. You can sample edible plants from the forest & learn about Maori medicines.

Our magic jungle like walk eventually leads us to a spectacular waterfall cascading over rocks and crashing down into the river below, with a total drop of over 200ft [70meters].

We may have lunch in the forest or at a lodge set in this delightful valley, before we continue our day through nature and over farmland where we will conclude a day you will always remember.

HIKE COROMANDEL – 5 DAY TOUR

Perfect for keen walkers and visitors who want a taste of the REAL New Zealand

Day one

Your friendly Kiwi Dundee Guide will pick you up from Auckland accommodation. Tour to Colville on western side of the Coromandel Peninsula via the seabird coast enjoying a hike along the bird sanctuary foreshore of the Hauraki Gulf. Visit the old historic gold town of Thames, and a unique single gauge train ride amongst giant ferns at Coromandel town. Weather permitting, enjoy the afternoon exploring the coast and watching the sunset while trying our luck at surfcasting for dinner off the rocks! Enjoy a barbecue tea of fresh fish, typical New Zealand style if lucky on the rocks, otherwise a steak and sausage dinner for all!! Accommodation:Colville Bay Lodge for two nights. L,D

Day Two

Picturesque drive up to Sandy Bay over remote roads. Enjoy the day walking the Coromandel Track on the rugged, spectacular coastline of this unspoiled corner of New Zealand. Our transport will meet us at Fletchers Bay at the tip of the peninsula at the end of the day. B,L,D

Day three

Tour down the Western side of the Peninsula. Learn the fascinating history of the region from your kiwi guides. A variety of walks today including a hike to Cathedral cove and enjoy the delight of the famous Hot Water beach [tide permitting.] Accommodation: Deluxe Home stay or Lodge for two nights. B,L.D

Day four

Wilderness Hike: Cross the Tairua River into untracked semi tropical rainforest with crystal clear rock pools and giant ferns. View the glowworms in old gold caves. Spectacular volcanic mountains line the valley Be prepared for fun and entertainment today! B,L,D

Day five

[option one] Visit Kiwi Dundee Adventures conservation block enjoying a walk through semi tropical rainforest where native birds and the unique flora is regenerating Travel via Waihi gold town, then hike the tramline through a rugged gorge before returning back to the city of Auckland.

[option two] This tour can conclude in Rotorua. B,L

Recommend to Bring: good rain gear, walking boots, sunhat, togs [swimsuits], camera, small back pack. ‘Layers’ are a good idea for clothing.

LOST VALLEY HIKE

Full Day Hike. Strenuous and challenging.

After a two-hour hike through beautiful forest we come to the 200 metre (800ft) high rock sentinels which guard the entrance to the Lost Valley. To enter this magic place we have to climb waterfalls, which spill out of the valley between the sentinel rocks before climbing around cliff faces in a tangle of vines. Entering the Lost Valley we discover we are not the first humans to visit this remote place. Last century men came here to cut the giant Kauri – trees which had survived untouched for thousands of years, still lying there, like moss-covered skeletons, are the gigantic cut heads of these trees. A steep climb brings us to the top of the rock sentinels high above the forest giving stupendous views of the islands and coast, mountains, cliffs and forest. Then it’s down a steep ridge until we meet a beautiful creek, rock hopping our way home.