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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. 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

Most Underrated Travel Destinations

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Everyone knows about Paris and Rome and London but there are so many other beautiful travel destinations that are amazingly underrated and they are cities on our list to visit again once the Coronavirus allows. The fact that so many beautiful countries go unexplored by travelers is a tragedy and we want to change that after Coronavirus. Not only because so many people are missing out on rich cultures and picturesque views, but also because a lot of these destinations tend to be a lot cheaper to travel to than popular cities. 

But what a lot of people don’t know is that there are gorgeous, underrated foreign cities one can visit for a fraction of the price of touristy European cities. Forbes recently published a collection of the ten most underrated destinations you should consider visiting. 

Here are a few of them to learn about while stuck at home due to Coronavirus:

Yerevan, Armenia

Yerevan, the capital of Armenia, is known for its magnificent sights of Mount Ararat, historical monasteries, and its many striking temple ruins. Armenian cuisine is other worldly with classic dishes like rabbit stew, sautéed eggplant rolls, and lamb tartare. 

Telč, Czechia

Telč is a colorful town with Italian influences in Czechia. It boasts of Baroque-Renaissance architecture and has a castle of its own with exciting tunnels and passageways that you can explore underneath the town.

Santiago, Chile

Santiago is the capital of Chile and features gorgeous architecture from the neoclassical era. There are towering cathedrals and, of course, plenty of quality Chilean wine. Plus, the city of Santiago is a great place to kick off your exploration of Chile’s wine country. 

Rotterdam, the Netherlands

Rotterdam is often ignored due to the popular neighboring city of Amsterdam, but it is a bastion of underground music and street art. The architecture is strikingly modern since the city was heavily bombed during World War II and thus had to be rebuilt from the ground up. The city is filled to the brim with amazing cuisine and museums.

Lagos, Nigeria

If you are looking for a big city destination, Lagos is a metropolis that has plenty to see and do so that you’ll never be bored. And whenever you need a break from the urban marketplaces, private beaches are just a short drive away.

Con Dao, Vietnam

Con Dao is a Southeast Asian island that makes an excellent beach destination with two resorts and tons of fascinating history. Once host to a brutal French prison, the island is also home to the tomb of the Vietnamese martyr Vo Thi Sau. 

Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay

This is one of the oldest cities in Uruguay dating back to the 17th century. The city has a vibrantly decorated historic quarter and a three-century-old convent. It’s also only a short trip away from the bigger city of Montevideo.

A majority of Americans, when asked about traveling abroad, will likely shake their head and say they can’t afford such trips. Many people deal with multiple monthly bills, such as mortgage or rent, student loans, and title loans, which are all stress inducing. 

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Adventure Travel

3 Tips For A Luxury Camping Experience

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If you are used to travelling in style and staying in high end hotels, camping is probably your idea of hell. Why would you spend a week sitting in a freezing cold tent, hiding from the rain when you could be relaxing around the pool in a nice hotel? But camping gives you a completely different travel experience and if you do it right, it can be very rewarding. If you invest in the right equipment, you can enjoy all of the good things about camping without any of the downsides. If you follow these simple tips, you will have a comfortable experience and fall in love with camping.

Image From Pixabay CCO License

Buy The Right Tent

The tent is the most important thing if you want a comfortable camping experience. All of those horror stories you hear about leaking tents only happen because people buy cheap tents. If you invest in a good quality tent, it should hold up to the weather and keep you dry and warm.

When you are buying a tent, you need to check the hydrostatic head rating. This gives you an indication of how much rain the tent can stand up to before leaking. The higher the rating, the less likely your tent is to leak. It is also important to consider the size of the tent and how easy it is to put up, especially if you are planning a road trip. You need to make sure that it fits into the car easily, and you also want to avoid anything that is too complicated to put up. However, be careful with pop-up tents because most of them will not stand up to the rain.

If you want the ultimate comfortable camping experience, you should consider a camper trailer instead. There are some great camper trailers that come with all of the same facilities that you would find in a basic hotel, so you can camp in comfort. If you really hate the idea of camping, this is the best option.

Get A Good Quality Sleeping Bag

If you are worried about being freezing cold at night while you are camping, you need to get a good quality sleeping bag. A cheap one will not be comfortable and it won’t keep you warm, so you need to make sure that you buy a good thermal one. Sleeping directly on the floor will be uncomfortable as well, so you should invest in a sleeping mat as well. If you are willing to spend a little more on good sleeping equipment, you will be nice and comfortable while camping.

Pack Good Food

The food is another big issue for people when they go camping, but there is no need to live on beans all week. You can get some great dehydrated camping food packs so, as long as you take a small camping stove, you can still eat proper meals. If you pack a coolbox and freeze some food before you go, it should last a while so you can have barbecues as well. As long as you plan ahead, there’s no reason why you can’t eat well while you are camping.

Camping doesn’t have to be the nightmare experience that you think it does. If you follow these simple tips, you can have a luxury camping experience and enjoy all of the benefits of the great outdoors.

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Adventure Travel

Tips for Planning Your Uluru Tour

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Located in the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, the magnificent sandstone of Ayers Rock or Uluru stands tall at 1,142 feet above ground. The natural formation is widely known for being one of the most sacred places to the indigineous peoples in Australia. At the same time, it is also popular for attracting tourists from all over the world to the land down under.

If you want to visit Uluru in order to pay tribute to this wonder of nature, then doing so through the right tour is in your best interest. It’s not only because Uluru is located at least a few hours from civilization, but it also because such a tour allows you to enjoy the picturesque sights that come along the way within the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park.

So what sights are there to see along the way and what other general tours suggestions you should keep in mind while visiting Uluru? To help you answer these and some other important questions, here are 5 top tips to keep in mind while visiting Uluru.

Don’t Climb the Monolith

First things first, while it is legal to climb atop Uluru, it is recommended that you do not attempt such an action in order to show your respect to the indigenous peoples.

It is a pretty easy rule to follow when you pay attention to the emotions of the indigenous tribes who have recommended time and again for people to not climb Uluru.

But that doesn’t mean that you cannot enjoy the natural beauty that Uluru has to offer. In fact, you are encouraged to visit the sandstone and take in its natural glory by standing right beside the formation. That’s why 4WD tour is highly recommended. The tour guides would be able to tell you what you can and can not do.

Visit During Sunset

Ask anyone who has visited Uluru about the best time to see the formation, and you will instantly get the answer as “sunset.”

It’s because Uluru is not an ordinary monolith, but one that is formed through arkosic sandstone. This allows the rock to actually change its color according to the position of the sun. As a result, you can expect the formation to sport a different color depending upon what time of day you reach it.

At sunset, Uluru projects an amber glow that is surreal to take in, especially when you are seeing the formation in person for the very first time. That’s why, it is recommended that you time your trip in a way that allows you to experience this magnificent sight.

3. Take Your Time to Plan the Trip

Perhaps the best way to visit Uluru is through the nearby town of Alice Springs, which has various amenities and accommodation options for tourists who are making their way to the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park.

The drive from Alice Springs to Uluru can take around 5 hours, which is why it is recommended that you arrive at least a day before you are planning to tour Uluru.

This way, you can reach the national park while feeling fresh and rested. This also gives you time to plan longer trips to the park in order to enjoy all that it has to offer.

4. Take in the Sight of the Rock Art

Uluru is not just a wonder to look at by itself, but it also holds several little pieces of wonderful art within it.

The caves at the bottom of the formation hold several pieces of rock art that can only be found at Uluru. If you love learning about other cultures through their art, then this will be a must visit.

Just make sure that you take the time to learn about this art through a local tour guide or via the information provided within these exhibits. This ensures that you have an immersive and informative experience which you can remember for a long time.

5. Don’t Forget the Natural Attractions Around the Rock

Enjoying the breathtaking sight of Uluru sounds rewarding enough for a trip to the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. But it’s not all that you can do during a tour of Uluru.

From seeing the red kangaroos and other marsupials to spending some time with the camels, and from seeing the one of a kind formations of Kata Tjuta to taking a walk by the Valley of the Winds, there’s so much to see and do around Uluru.

That is why, it is recommended that you take your time at the park and put aside at least two days to enjoy all of the unique activities that the area has to offer. It would give you a well-deserved break from the hustle and bustle of daily life while also allowing you to make the most out of your long journey to the sandstone.

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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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