Climb to the top....
....or wuss out like I did.
Yep, that's right, I wimped out and sent my camera on to the summit without me. I love hiking up big hills, but I'm not great with sheer drops. And the top bit of the Pinnacles is sheer.
From the Pinnacles hut, our small group followed the steep track, mostly steps and boardwalk. The climb gets steeper and steeper, and after a bit I opted out. I took the opportunity to spend an hour alone with the incredible view - mile after mile of bush-covered hill, with the flat top of Table Mountain in the distance in one direction, and the distant Pacific Ocean the other. The others (made of sterner stuff than I) carried on to the part where the Department of Conservation have bolted ladders up vertical rock face, to find themselves on top of the world - or at least, the top of the Coromandel.
- Budget Travel
- Hiking and Walking
- Mountain Climbing
Dancing Camp Kauri Dam
Just a couple of minutes walk from the Pinnacles hut is the Dancing Camp kauri dam. Dams like this one were used by logging crews to dam up valleys in steep, inaccessible areas, and the felled kauri trees were stacked up and then driven down the valleys, carried by the torrent of released flood waters. The force of the water would destroy everything in it's path, and in fact much of the kauri timber ended up smashed to pieces once it reached the valley floor.
Kauri timber was one of New Zealand's biggest industries for a time, and few mature kauri trees are left standing (the most famous kauri is the colossal Tane Mahuta, God of the Forest in the Waipoua Forest, Northland). The trees are very slow growing, and were prized for their hard, straight timber. Apart from being used for housing and shipping, a great deal of kauri was exported - New Zealand kauri timber was used in the re-building of San Fransisco after the huge earthquake that hit the city in 1905.
This dam at Dancing Camp is one of the later ones to be built, dating from the 1920's. The area around it is used as a small campsite adjacent to the Pinnacles hut.
- Budget Travel
- Historical Travel