For about a year I have been pestered by a certain youngling to do an overnight hike to a summit. Emma, having done this track when she was young herself, recommended this one as an entry level overnight hike. So on Sunday the 21st we set off to the hut with all of our overnight gear. The walk to the hut is marked as a 3 hour hike. It took us a little longer than this. There is a section of the hike where there is about 200 metres of ascent with rock stairs. It reminded me of the stairs of Cirith Ungol (Lord of the Rings reference). There are a few stream crossings on the track but most have swing bridge bypasses.
The 80 bed hut is near the summit and has great facilities. Booking in advance is required and costs about $15 per person. For this you get a mattress, use of the facilities which include the gas cookers in the kitchen and their pots and pans (2 less things needed in the pack). From the hut it is about 50 minutes to the summit. It is a steep walk but well maintained. Near the top there is a few ladders and a bit of rock climbing but nothing too serious. A viewing platform is at the top. However there is not a lot of room for an HF dipole. I only managed to extend as far as the 14 MHz links. Contacts from here were mostly on VHF into Auckland, with 2 HF contacts into VK2 on 14 MHz.
While this summit can technically be done as a day walk, it would be a long day. It was enjoyable to be able to relax at the hut and walk out in our own time after breakfast. This is an enjoyable walk and good for the body and soul.
Summit – ZL1/WK-060 Pinnacles
Height – 773 m (height gain of 600 m)
Access – DoC Carpark – end of Kauaeranga Valley Road (well past the DoC centre).
Nominal time to summit – 4 hour walk from road end, 50 minute walk from hut..
Mobile and internet coverage from the summit – Good coverage at summit. No coverage from hut. 7075 repeater good at hut and summit.
Summit Marker – Viewing platform.
Land Access Permission – Not required – National Park.
Link to DoC Website for hut bookings – https://www.doc.govt.nz/parks-and-recreation/places-to-go/coromandel/places/coromandel-forest-park/things-to-do/pinnacles-hut/