Friday 12th to Sunday 14th March 2010
Tramping the Kuaotunu Peninsula area of the Coromandel
The numbers didn’t quite make the cut-off point of 10 passengers for Big Blue, so with ill-concealed relief (the winding Coromandel roads would not have been pleasant in the bus) nine of us travelled down in four cars, arriving at Otama Beach campground between 6.30pm and 11.00pm. The first thing we saw at the gate was a flimsy bridge and sign: ‘No Heavy Trucks’ - so we couldn’t have got BB into the camp anyway.
Saturday morning we met at Opito Bay with our tramp leaders, ATC members Joe and Keith, and divided into group J and group K with Keith promising a shorter day. Initially, both groups walked up by the Stewart Stream, over the ridge and down to Sandy Bay. Here the faster group J turned west, over the Camel (not the better-known 2-humped Camel) to Horseshoe Bay, Double Bay, Kohuraoro Rd, Matapaua Bay Rd and back to Opito Bay.
Group K headed east along the rocky foreshore on a ‘paper road’ (Bruce was heard to wish he had a paper car to drive along it), over Tapu Pt to Matapaua Bay where we had lunch, then back to Opito Bay via the steep Matapaua Bay Rd. After a brief pause at Keith and Ruth’s place we set off again, along the beach to Opito Pa and Crayfish Bay before returning to Ruth’s home-baked treats and bottomless cups of tea.
On Sunday morning group K, increased by a couple of recruits from group J, were driven to our starting point back along Black Jack Rd, then tramped around Motuhua Pt and along the coast via Otama Beach and Kauwera Pt back to Opito Bay. Meanwhile group J did a circuit from Opito Bay, Crayfish Bay, Red Bay, Pt Mercury, lunch at Humbug Bay, Matapaua Bay then returned along Matapaua Bay Rd. All gathered at Joe and Pat’s place for a welcome cup of tea and (optional) shower before dispersing to make our various ways home.
The weather was perfect all weekend; many swims were had (mostly by Ray S); the coastal views were superb.
This weekend’s tramping was enriched by our leaders sharing their extensive knowledge of local terrain and history - origins of place names, history, geology, local politics. We came to appreciate and respect the many years of work they and their group, the Kuaotunu Peninsula Track Group, have devoted to exploring tramping opportunities to and through the public lands administered by DOC - searching records and titles, as well as investing considerable physical effort in locating survey pegs, checking with GPS, mapping and clearing existing animal and older tracks and linking these.
We understand we are one of the few ‘outside’ groups taken into the area. It was a privilege for us which we hope will be extended for further club trips.
Joe Scott-Woods and Keith Williamson
Keith Ayton, Jean Barton (scribe), Bruce Calvert, Lydia Huggard, Vicky King, Lee McKay, Ray Slight, Craig Starr, Ray Vickers, David Wyatt, Pat Scott-Woods
1. Warm & dry tramping here
2. Idyllic Waters
3. Most of the crew