On Tuesday, Decemer 27th, 2022, I hiked to the top of Pinnacles in the Coromandel Peninsula of New Zealand's North Island. That morning, I work up at the freedom camping parking lot of Danby Field in the town of Thames. I spent the day waiting for the right time to drive up to the hiking spot, about 40 minutes away.
The top of Pinnacles is known as a spot to watch sunrise or sunset. The hike from the trailhead was estimated to take 3 hours but I completed it in 2.5 hours. The last section requires scambling and there are ladders in the rock. Starting at about 4PM, I arrived very early for the sunset and needed to wait.
The sunset did not disappoint as the weather was good. Many people were up at the top watching it but most did not have headlamps and returned before the sun actually set. Having a headlamp was critical as the forest is shaded and at night was almost completely dark.
Along the way back, I noticed many glowing greenish dots. Having previously done a glow worm cave tour, I knew these were glow worms. There were many damp sections along the a stream on the way back in which I saw glow worms. Turning off my headlamp at some point to see them was an interesting experience.
Overall, the hike to the top of Pinnacles is a must do in the Coromandel Peninsula. Many people camp at a hut near the top but I did not. In the case of hiking before sunrise or after sunset, it is critical to have a headlamp to find the way back.
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