Hiking Wentworth Falls Valley on the Coromandel Peninsula

| December 11, 2012 | 54 Comments

The Wentworth Valley on the Coromandel Peninsula is one of those little gems that are often hidden away from the main tourist routes in New Zealand. But if you take the time to hike up the Wentworth Valley then you will be rewarded with spectacular views across Whangamata from the top of the 50m Wentworth Falls.

Wentworth Waterfall, Wentworth Valley, Coromandel Peninsula, Whangamata

Hiking Wentworth Falls Valley

Abandoned mines, secluded waterfalls, stony hiking trails crisscrossing rivers and lush native forest. The Wentworth Falls hike has enough natural scenery to make any Hobbit excited to go on an adventure up the Wentworth Valley.

Located just a short 15 minute drive from the Coromandel Peninsula town of Whangamata, Wentworth Valley is a short family friendly adventure hike lasting just over 2 hours. The Wentworth Falls hiking trail is well maintained and none of the sections are too steep.

Wentworth Waterfall, Wentworth Valley, Coromandel Peninsula, Whangamata

Even though I have been visiting Whangamata on the Coromandel Peninsula since I was a baby, this would be the first time I was actually determined to make it all the way up the Wentworth Valley to scope out the view.

Because according to Mum and Dad, this would be the 5th time we had attempted to hike up to Wentworth Falls.

Not because the track was too steep or hard, but because as kids we would make it to the first river crossing and start building dams.

Wentworth Waterfall, Wentworth Valley, Coromandel Peninsula, Whangamata

Apparently we never made it past here in 4 previous attempts… Oh to be young again!

With the dust still settling from the drive up the twisting gravel road into the carpark there was nothing to do but get the blood pumping.

Hiking up the trail quickly made me realise how much I have missed the New Zealand scenery while we have been travelling the world.  We have been in some stunning locations such as hiking Cinque Terre in Italy, skiing the Three Valleys in France and spending the summer white water rafting in Jasper, Canada.

But nothing compares to home.

Koru, Wentworth Waterfall, Wentworth Valley, Coromandel Peninsula, Whangamata

Being able to stretch my legs under a dense canopy of native bush was like walking through a cave. On either side of the hiking trail Silver Ferns hiding curled Koru spread across our path and Rimu trees draped their spiky branches to our feet.

Sunlight speckled between the leaves, while the occasional bird call and crunching of the gravel under our boots were the only sounds we could hear.

It wasn’t long until we did come across actual signs of ancient Hobbit inhabitants. Although it may have just been an abandoned gold mine. Unfortunately it only went about 50m into the darkness before stopping dead.

Wentworth Valley, Coromandel Peninsula, Whangamata

Barely breaking a sweat we continued to navigate between towering tree trunks as the path slowly wound upwards. Every now and then the sunlight would spill across the track as we wandered into a clearing or when we reached a river crossing.

Sturdy timber bridges spanned across the Wentworth Valley floor ensuring that we didn’t get our feet wet. They also proved the perfect spot to grab a drink while warming up under the summer sunshine. It’s amazing how being under the cover of the trees can cause the temperature to drop even in summer.

Wentworth Falls Valley Hiking Trail Bridge

Within an hour we were at the crossroads to the Wentworth Falls lookout point.

Stairs dug into the banks led us onto the wooden viewing platform for our first glimpses across the valley to the plunging waterfall. Dropping in two tiers the water crashed onto the jagged rocks below.

If it had been the height of summer I might just have been tempted to have a swim in the naturally carved pool.

Wentworth Waterfall, Wentworth Valley, Coromandel Peninsula, Whangamata

Although the waterfall seems distant here, it was only another 10 minutes hike up the track. But it was probably the steepest section and rockiest under foot which did make the thighs burn a little.

While only an hour to the top in total we had been delayed by boyish activities and adventures in the past. But after 5 attempts spanning 20+ years we had finally made it.

Wentworth Waterfall, Wentworth Valley, Coromandel Peninsula, Whangamata

From the top of Wentworth Falls we could look in two directions. Either straight up the meandering and slow trickling river that turned into a torrent as it dropped over the 50m cliff.

Or we could glance over our shoulder across the Wentworth Valley to the Pacific Ocean glittering bright turquoise in the distance under the blue sky.

Wentworth Falls Valley view

It was well worth the wait.

About the Author ()

Cole is one half of New Zealand's leading adventure travel blogging couple who have been wearing out their jandals around the world since 2009. He loves any adventure activities and anything to do with the water whether it is Surfing, Diving, Swimming, Snorkeling or just lounging nearby on the beach. You can follow Cole on Google+. Or consider following us via RSS Feed, Twitter, Facebook and subscribe to our Newsletter.

Comments (54)

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  1. Spectacular hike–and isn’t it fully how our childhood hiking memories differ from reality? I guess the world was bigger and/or we were smaller in it.
    Karen @ Trans-Americas Journey recently posted..Peekaboo – Poás Volcano National Park, Costa RicaMy Profile

  2. Thanks Cole for sharing this amazing experience – Nature is what makes me at ease and yes, there is nothing better then home :) Need to get back to India soon I guess :)
    Abhishek Behl (Wild Navigator) recently posted..”10 Shades of a Scottish Autumn” Wild Pictures of the Day by Graeme MackenzieMy Profile

  3. Sophie says:

    Didn’t hike to Wentworth Falls when we lived in NZ, but loved Coromandel. Such a beautiful spot on earth.
    Sophie recently posted..Exploring the temple at EdfuMy Profile

  4. Micki says:

    Oh, our kids would love this hike. Glad you made it all the way to the top – I’m sure we only would have made it to the first stream as well.

    We were in the Coromandel about 10 years ago. It was such a beautiful, peaceful place, and now you’ve got me wanting to go back again!
    Micki recently posted..I Want to Go with Oh to BarcelonaMy Profile

  5. bronwen says:

    Great post………..and I confirm Cole’s write up and why we never got further than the first stream crossing!! And there are dozens of other beautiful walks like this Cole we will tackle next time you are home. x

  6. What delightful, serene photos! I feel the fresh air on my face. :)
    Lillie – @WorldLillie recently posted..5 Things To Do Before India Travel. (We Go in 2 Weeks!)My Profile

  7. Jennifer says:

    What a beautiful hike! Looks like the perfect way to spend a day stretching your legs.
    Jennifer recently posted..Dubai Marina by Night (Or That Night We Entertained Construction Workers)My Profile

    • All it takes is just a morning or evening really ;) Worth taking a picnic though. Let us know if you ever bring your tours downunder and we will show you the best places to explore Jennifer!

  8. Laurence says:

    I think we somehow missed this one on our trip around the ‘mandel. (I’m calling it that now). Ah well. Next time!
    Laurence recently posted..Travelling responsibly: #betterchildprotectionMy Profile

  9. Salika Jay says:

    It’s nice that you could finally finish the hike. Looks like a wonderful area. Love the view of Wentworth Valley.
    Salika Jay recently posted..Best International Airlines To FlyMy Profile

  10. Thank you, thank you thank you for this post! I’ll be moving to New Zealand for a year and am on the look out for any hidden gems!
    This has made it on to my New Zealand wishlist. Great post.

  11. Jennifer says:

    I love that abandoned gold mine/hobbit house. Would you consider returning, with a flashlight, to explore inside?
    Jennifer recently posted..Family-Friendly Activities on Hawaii, the Big IslandMy Profile

  12. Lane says:

    Lovely. It looks like an easy walk.
    Lane recently posted..Wimberley, Texas: Small Town CharmMy Profile

  13. Cheryl says:

    Lovely photos! I’d do the hike just to see that waterfall alone. :)
    Cheryl recently posted..Weird and Offbeat Sites: The Invisible Exhibition In Budapest.My Profile

  14. The images alone make me want to go. Beautiful!
    Linda McCormick recently posted..27 Holiday Gifts for Your Favorite EcoTravellerMy Profile

  15. Beautiful scenery! I did quite a bit of hiking when I was in NZ, but didn’t get to do this track
    Jade – OurOyster.com recently posted..A Weekend Guide To CornwallMy Profile

  16. Arti says:

    What a stunning hike! It must be exhilerating to do it!! The captures speak of its beauty.
    Have a fantastic day :)
    Arti recently posted..Tea Ceremony at the Jiko-in Zen Temple in Nara, JapanMy Profile

  17. Aww glad you finally made it! That waterfall looks stunning! Must have been lovely to be back home again!

  18. I always recommend the Corommandel, although I’ve not noticed this walk before! Sounds like you are missing home, it’s hard to fit in more than family visits on brief trips back to NZ isn’t it.
    Natasha von Geldern recently posted..Australia snapshot: Melbourne’s Fed SquareMy Profile

    • I miss New Zealand soooo much now that I went back for a short time! I haven’t had this feeling in over 3 years of travel. But still so much of the world to see. It is a really tough decision.

  19. Arti says:

    I asked this question on another post and asking again, how much will it cost to do some NZ from Melbourne. I might visit Melbourne next year.
    Arti recently posted..Messengers of God – Deers in Nara Park, JapanMy Profile

  20. Spectacular. I love hikes that passes or end up in a waterfall. Since it is finally raining in Los Angeles (a rarity here), I bet we are going to have tons of waterfalls to visit in spring.
    Ruth (Tanama Tales) recently posted..Top 5 Exotic EatsMy Profile

  21. Yet another reason why we should visit New Zealand! The hikes sounds wonderful and that view – wow! Pacific on one side and river-waterfall on the other. Does it get any better?
    Mary @ Green Global Travel recently posted..INTERVIEW: Meet The Real Erin Brockovich!My Profile

  22. Ali says:

    I love waterfalls! Looks gorgeous!
    Ali recently posted..Bathroom Travel HasslesMy Profile

  23. Abby says:

    Absolutely stunning…
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  24. Stephen S. says:

    Such a beautiful place! Glad you didn’t get sidetrack building damns again :) How long did the whole hike take?

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