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Hiking Wentworth Falls Valley on the Coromandel Peninsula

After 20+ years I finally managed to find the time to complete the Wentworth Falls hike on the Coromandel Peninsula in New Zealand. It was worth the wait!

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Wentworth Falls Valley Hiking Trail Bridge

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.

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.

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55 Comments

55 Comments

  1. Karen @ Trans-Americas Journey

    December 11, 2012 at 9:58 AM

    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.

    • Cole Burmester

      December 11, 2012 at 11:38 AM

      I know! I couldn’t believe it when Mum told me we hadn’t ever made it to the top even though it was only an hour haha.

  2. Abhishek Behl (Wild Navigator)

    December 11, 2012 at 10:45 AM

    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 🙂

    • Cole Burmester

      December 11, 2012 at 11:38 AM

      We need to go to India and you need to go to New Zealand 😉

  3. Sophie

    December 11, 2012 at 12:47 PM

    Didn’t hike to Wentworth Falls when we lived in NZ, but loved Coromandel. Such a beautiful spot on earth.

    • Cole Burmester

      December 11, 2012 at 2:21 PM

      The Coromandel is my favourite spot on the whole planet Sophie 😉

  4. Micki

    December 11, 2012 at 1:43 PM

    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!

    • Cole Burmester

      December 11, 2012 at 2:22 PM

      Was such an easy hike but could see how we got distracted as kids haha. I bet there have been hardly any changes since you were there last Micki 😉

  5. bronwen

    December 11, 2012 at 2:58 PM

    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. Lillie - @WorldLillie

    December 11, 2012 at 9:49 PM

    What delightful, serene photos! I feel the fresh air on my face. 🙂

  7. Jennifer

    December 12, 2012 at 4:46 AM

    What a beautiful hike! Looks like the perfect way to spend a day stretching your legs.

    • Cole Burmester

      December 12, 2012 at 5:01 AM

      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

    December 12, 2012 at 6:12 AM

    I think we somehow missed this one on our trip around the ‘mandel. (I’m calling it that now). Ah well. Next time!

    • Cole Burmester

      December 12, 2012 at 8:08 AM

      I will let you call it that, but only because you are a big advocate for the Coromandel too 😉

  9. Salika Jay

    December 12, 2012 at 12:59 PM

    It’s nice that you could finally finish the hike. Looks like a wonderful area. Love the view of Wentworth Valley.

    • Cole Burmester

      December 13, 2012 at 2:11 AM

      I love all the hills rolling down towards the sea. And it is like that the entire way along the Coromandel Peninsula 😉

  10. Dusty Soles

    December 12, 2012 at 2:22 PM

    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.

    • Cole Burmester

      December 13, 2012 at 2:10 AM

      Let me know once you get there and I will be more than happy to point you in the right direction!

      • Dusty Soles

        December 13, 2012 at 1:39 PM

        I think I’ll be taking you up on that!!! 🙂

  11. Jennifer

    December 12, 2012 at 3:46 PM

    I love that abandoned gold mine/hobbit house. Would you consider returning, with a flashlight, to explore inside?

    • Cole Burmester

      December 13, 2012 at 2:10 AM

      Honestly it didn’t go very deep. I walked to the end of it using my camera flash haha.

      • Matthew Karsten

        December 23, 2012 at 6:15 AM

        Ha! A proper “flash-light”. 😀

        • Cole Burmester

          January 14, 2013 at 9:02 PM

          I wasn’t expecting to go underground on our hike up to the waterfall 😉

  12. Lane

    December 12, 2012 at 5:20 PM

    Lovely. It looks like an easy walk.

    • Cole Burmester

      December 13, 2012 at 2:09 AM

      Very easy walk for all abilities Lane. But there are lot of options to make it harder to such as adding an extra 3.5 hours on the end if you want to carry on up 😉

  13. Cheryl

    December 12, 2012 at 10:18 PM

    Lovely photos! I’d do the hike just to see that waterfall alone. 🙂

    • Cole Burmester

      December 13, 2012 at 2:08 AM

      I need to go back in the height of summer so I can go swimming at its base 🙂

  14. Linda McCormick

    December 12, 2012 at 11:01 PM

    The images alone make me want to go. Beautiful!

    • Cole Burmester

      December 13, 2012 at 2:08 AM

      You would love it Linda! Such a beautiful part of New Zealand. I could have uploaded another 20 photos just as stunning too 🙂

  15. Jade - OurOyster.com

    December 12, 2012 at 11:17 PM

    Beautiful scenery! I did quite a bit of hiking when I was in NZ, but didn’t get to do this track

    • Cole Burmester

      December 13, 2012 at 2:07 AM

      Yea I have seen your Coromandel posts before 😉 You might have to go back and do some more hiking now!

  16. Arti

    December 13, 2012 at 7:52 AM

    What a stunning hike! It must be exhilerating to do it!! The captures speak of its beauty.
    Have a fantastic day 🙂

    • Cole Burmester

      December 13, 2012 at 8:53 AM

      Most of New Zealand is like that too Arti 😉

  17. Steph | DiscoveringIce.com

    December 14, 2012 at 4:06 PM

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

    • Cole Burmester

      December 14, 2012 at 5:02 PM

      Was so nice to be home Steph. Just wish it could have been for longer! Realised I have been missing out on adventures like this 🙁

  18. Natasha von Geldern

    December 15, 2012 at 1:10 AM

    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.

    • Cole Burmester

      December 15, 2012 at 10:12 AM

      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

    December 16, 2012 at 2:19 AM

    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.

    • Cole Burmester

      December 18, 2012 at 5:03 PM

      Tough question to be honest Arti. How long will you be in NZ for? Where do you want to go? You should be able to get flights across to NZ for about $350.

  20. Angela

    December 16, 2012 at 6:21 PM

    Wow fantastic place!

    • Cole Burmester

      December 18, 2012 at 5:05 PM

      It makes it hard to continue travelling away from NZ with places like this on our backdoor 🙂

  21. Ruth (Tanama Tales)

    December 19, 2012 at 2:00 AM

    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.

    • Cole Burmester

      December 19, 2012 at 5:42 PM

      Hopefully you find some great walks around California Ruth!

  22. Mary @ Green Global Travel

    December 19, 2012 at 8:35 PM

    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?

    • Cole Burmester

      January 14, 2013 at 8:53 PM

      Doesn’t get much better than the Coromandel Peninsula. Pity you guys didn’t make it on your visit to Antarctica!

  23. Ali

    December 26, 2012 at 2:20 PM

    I love waterfalls! Looks gorgeous!

    • Cole Burmester

      January 16, 2013 at 10:13 AM

      It is a lovely and casual walk Ali. I am sure you would love it 😉

  24. Abby

    January 1, 2013 at 5:11 PM

    Absolutely stunning…

  25. Stephen S.

    January 7, 2013 at 5:05 PM

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

    • Cole Burmester

      January 16, 2013 at 11:29 AM

      The hike only took about 45mins to get to the top and a little bit shorter getting back. They recommend about an hour each way.

  26. Pingback: Meet the Kiwi Bloggers: Four Jandals Adventure Travel Blog - Flashpacker Family - Family Travel Blog, Travel with Kids, Toddler Travel Tips

  27. Juliet Mountaineer

    March 10, 2016 at 12:05 AM

    It’s worth the wait, indeed. The trip is quite interesting because it does not just offers simple hiking and mountaineering instead it also gives amazing falls view and a wonderful nature.

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Adventure Travel

Skin-Care Rules to Always Follow When You Travel

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With the holiday season nearly upon us, most of us are hit with a bout of wanderlust. Traveling will take us to different places, and these places likely have completely different climates from what we are used to. Nobody wants to have a skin breakout or any other type of skin problem during vacation. To prevent this problem, this article will give you Skin-care rules to always follow when you travel.

Every time you step on a plane, your skin is exposed to a whole different condition. You are plagued by stale, dry, circulated air that can do wonders to your skin (in a bad way, of course). And that is just your flight. Your actual vacation can be a nightmare for your skin. From weird hotel products to bad sunscreen, to stress from forgetting stuff at home or from family members and a host of other problems.

Thankfully, there are things you can do to keep your skin looking great despite the challenges of travel.

  1. Drink Water…a lot of water

Staying hydrated is extremely important. Being hydrated inside and outside is one of the most important skin routine tips at all times, even when you are not on vacation.

The switch from a hot to a cold climate or from a hot to cold climate can cause skin dryness and irritation among other things. Even the air on the plane is dry and can sap all the moisture from your skin. Therefore, make sure your drink a lot of water. That would keep you hydrated inside.

For your skin, you should liberally apply moisturizers to keep your skin looking radiant and beautiful.

  1. Use Sunscreen

Next to staying hydrated, sun protection is one of the most important routine for your skin type.  While travelling, you should be extra diligent about your sunscreen.

It might sound strange, but you should apply sunscreen even while on the plane. Why? Because you are in a metal container 10,000 feet close to the sun. In fact, you are likely to get a sunburn while in a plane than on the ground. You might want to close the shades, but others might want of view. Hence take precautions and apply the sunscreen.

When you are travelling, it can be easy to forget to use sunscreen, or you might run out of sunscreen. You can go the extra mile by setting a reminder on your phone either to use sunscreen or buying a new one before the current one runs out.

  1. Use Minimal Makeup

During your vacation, leave out heavy foundations and other heavy makeup products. If you are traveling to a location with extreme weather, your makeup will wear off fairly easily. This not only leaves you looking silly, but the heavy makeup can clog the pores of your skin and result in breakouts.

If you choose to use makeup at all, use breathable makeup. Preferably it should be water-resistant and offer protection from hot climates.

  1. Take your facial cleanser and moisturizer along with you

To keep your face looking great even in extreme climates, your facial cleanser and moisturizer are very important. The daily cleanser helps to clean impurities on your face, while the moisturizer will feed your skin with the important nutrients required to keep it healthy during the duration of your trip.

  1. Use trusted products

Trying out new products is fun, but you should be very careful doing this while on vacation. The change in climate is enough stress on your skin. If you add new products to your skin, you might be increasing the stress on it. Invariably, this might lead to skin breakout and other issues.

Therefore, stick to what your skin is familiar with. When you go back home, you can try out new products. To make it easier to keep using your familiar products, you can buy travel-sized versions of your moisturizer, lotion, cleanser and other stuff.

  1. Have a medical emergency kit

This should contain smoothening calamine, aloe vera potion and other things that can be used in case of skin emergencies.

To enjoy your trip, no matter where that might be, follow these skin-care rules. Your skin will thank you for it!

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Adventure Travel

Scottsdale – Come for the Sights, Stay for the Experience

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Scottsdale, Arizona is one of the most popular destinations in the Grand Canyon State. Known for its resorts, natural trails, and association with nightlife, the city has become a must visit for anyone who wants to experience contemporary life in a former desert.

Scottsdale is very famous for its modern hospitality and geographical sights. Keeping this in mind, it wouldn’t be surprising to know that finding a Scottsdale nightclub is on the minds of many tourists who pay the city a visit – even those who do so to explore one of its mountainous ranges.

If you are planning to head down to the Copper State anytime soon and enjoy life, then Scottsdale may prove to be a great summer destination.

To help you understand what the city would have to offer in terms of recreation, here are some of the top Scottsdale vacation and dining options that make the West’s Most Western Town, a must visit.

Old Town Scottsdale

Old Town Scottsdale is perhaps the most popular destination in the city. With its unique lineup of culturally rich events, this colorful area has a vibe that defines old West meeting its modern counterpart to a T.

While Scottsdale remains famous for its modern nightlife, club scene, and luxurious resorts, Old Town Scottsdale brings about the old Western charm for tourists to experience firsthand. Old architecture, preserving museums, and cultural activities are just a few of the many things that you could experience at this destination.

With an array of fine dining restaurants that prove to be the best in the state, you could grab a bite in luxury after roaming around in the sun.

And if you feel a bit more adventurous, then you could do that exploration while riding on a Segway instead of using your good old feet. With plenty of Segway tours being conducted each day, you will easily be able to find something that suits your schedule.

Taliesin West

As the winter home to famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright, Taliesin West boasts of an unmatched architectural design.

Now a museum, the destination doesn’t only showcase the building in all of its glory, but also offers insights into Wright’s work and his mind through detailed tours of the facility.

It is due to these reasons that Taliesin West ranks as one of the topmost destinations to visit in Scottsdale among many professional guides.

Since the building or its experience cannot be replicated elsewhere, it remains a must visit for whenever you are in Scottsdale.

Scottsdale Fashion Square

Want to visit the biggest shopping mall in Arizona? You would find it to be located in the heart of Scottsdale.

With around 2 million square feet of shopping space, the Scottsdale Fashion Square is one of the biggest malls in the whole country. Made up of high end, luxury retail locations, it is literally the one stop shop for upscale items that you may not find elsewhere in the city. With that, the mall holds plenty of fine dining locations as well. What more could you want from a shopping destination, really?

Due to its modern inventory and access to high fashion, the Scottsdale Fashion Square could be a must visit before you hit the popular nightclub scene of the city. Whether you are finding some club wear or just want to spruce up your existing outfit with some Loboutins, this mall would provide you with plenty of choices and fun to boot.

Scottsdale Has Something for Everyone

Depending upon your personal preference, Scottsdale has plenty to offer.  Whether you want to indulge in the city’s party scene or just explore its natural history, you would find that the destination has something for everyone.

So the next time that you are about to visit the Wild West, don’t forget to put Scottsdale at the top of your list. You won’t be disappointed with what you get to work with.

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Adventure Travel

5 Fun Adventure Activities in Vietnam

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A stunning country with glorious scenery and an amazing culture, Vietnam offers many attractions for the modern tourist. It would be easy to spend a holiday in Vietnam just sightseeing and immersing yourself in the culture – which thanks to a heavy French influence, is different to its South Eastern Asian neighbours – but why pass up on some of the fun adventure activities in Vietnam?

Sandboarding

Also called sand surfing, sandboarding is an extreme sport, exactly like snowboarding, but on sand dunes instead of snow. Regularly named among the best sandboarding destinations in the world, are the Mue Ne Dunes. A series of red dunes around the resort town of the same name, sandboarding has not yet hit the professional heights here but is more of a fun cultural experience. Women in cone hats rent out boards to everyone from kids to saffron-robed Buddhist monks.

Mue Nie is also home to the magical Fairy Stream. This small shallow river winds through moon-like rock formations and is fun to walk through. You can watch the fish as you walk up to two kms in the water or you might try your hand at fishing. You’ll need some basic tackle including rod and reels. Check out these great options for beginners.

Take on Mount Fansipan

Nicknamed “the Roof of Indochina”, Fanispan at 3,143 metres is the highest mountain in the region. Located in Sapa, a town in the Lao Cai province in Northern Vietnam, the mountain can be conquered via two main climbing routes, one categorised as 2D1N, the other a longer 3D2N route. Both climbs require a guide. For those who prefer an easier way to the summit, the Fanispan cable car takes just 15 minutes to achieve what climbers do in 2-3 days, travelling on cables high above primitive forests.

Ride a Motorbike from Ho Chi Minh to Hanoi

One of the enduring images of Vietnam is the streets of Ho Chi Minh crowded with motorbikes, but motorbikes are also popular outside the cities and Vietnam has become known for some amazing motorbike routes. One of the favourite journeys is from Ho Chi Minh to Hanoi. There are various routes to cover the distance of more than 2,000 kms, all taking you through gorgeous scenery and fascinating towns and villages.

Marble Mountain Rappelling Tour with Temple and Cave Exploration

You might think that abseiling down a vertical rock face is for experienced adrenalin junkies but not so on a rappelling tour in the Marble Mountains in Vietnam. Located just north of the popular resort city of Hoi An, the Marble Mountains are known locally as the “Five Elements Mountains”. Tours start in the city and once in the mountains, all equipment and instruction is provided to complete at least two rappels (depending on the tour company you choose). Besides the rappelling, the tours have spectacular views of the coast and include trekking through the mountains, visiting caves and temples

Canyoning

Canyoning is a thrilling adrenaline rush of an adventure sport wherein you jump into a fast-flowing mountain stream and allow yourself to be carried at high speed downstream. The most popular place for canyoning in Vietnam is Dalat. Dalat is in the Central Highlands and is a lovely resort town near a lake becoming renown as a destination for honeymoons as well as the adventure sports of cliff jumping, waterfall rappelling, natural water slides, and hiking, as well as canyoning. Various companies offer canyoning tours in Dalat all at similar prices for similar itineraries, so just choose which appeals most.

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Meet Cole and Adela

Cole and AdelaWe have been wearing out our jandals (Kiwi for flip-flops) on our travel adventures around the world since 2009. We think our blog is thought provoking and a little witty. But we have been proven wrong before. Find out more about us here...

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