Great Walks was in New Zealand last month with our good friends from Nature and Nosh on their 7-day Coastal Charms experience.
With its white sand beaches, turquoise waters, lush sub-tropical valleys and wonderful buswalks, the Coromandel Peninsula showcases the best the North Island has to offer.
And as these photos show there was plenty to explore... and taste!
We started our trip near Waihi with a lovely coastal walk and spent the next two nights at Poets Corner Lodge offering wonderful coastal views and large comfortable bedrooms.
We ate a glorious meal at Falls Retreat where owner Emma showed us her vege garden which supplies much of the vegetables for the meals. This is the 'paddock to plate' philosophy we saw so much of on this trip.
Our second meal was cooked by our own personal chef who popped into Poets Corner Retreat. We ate a lovely Thai fish curry washed down with some fabulous chardonnay.
The following day we headed up to the top of The Coromandel and stopped for a couple of lovely short walks and lunch at Mercury Bay vineyards. The tasting plate was to die for!
Out next two nights accommodation was at Tangiaro Kiwi Retreat, named after the wild kiwi that live in the surrounding bushland. If you listen carefully you can hear them at night.
Accommodation consisted of 14 well-appointed modern chalets that each sleep at least four people.
We ate dinner both nights at the retreat's restaurant and the menu offered something for everyone. They even brew their own beer.
Our next bushwalk was on the Coromandel Coastal Walkway, boarding the northern Coromandel coastline between Stony and Fletcher Bays and following an old bridle path formed by early pioneers.
It is a 10km (one way) hike that encapsulates the best scenery The Coromandel has to offer and offers plenty of variety as it winds through regenerative native forest, farmland and rocky shoreline.
We got stunning views of the Pacific Ocean, Mt Moehau, Great Barrier Island (Aotea Island) to the north and Cuvier Island (Repanga Island) to the east.
From Tangiaro Kiwi Retreat we headed to our last two night's accommodation in the Thames region, a family-run homestay with lots of rooms, a gorgeous balcony and surrounded by lush bushland!
Our final big walk was to the Pinnacles, one of the many popular historic walks in the Kauaeranga Valley where we were based. It's an 8hr return walk so make sure you have a good breakfast.
The Pinnacles Walk follows the original steps constructed for packhorses which carried supplies for kauri loggers, gum diggers and gold miners who plundered the area in the early 1900’s.
The stunning walk to the base of the craggy Pinnacles traverses through groves of nikau palms, huge rata trees, and across streams and swingbridges.
Crossing the streams you can imagine the roar of huge torrents of water and logs rushing past as the kauri dams upstream were released sending thousands of huge kauri logs downstream towards Thames.
This was a magnificent walk that topped of a magnificent week. For more info on any of Nature and Nosh's walk click here.