This week the Herald is profiling different hikes you can do to get fit. We have enlisted Robert Bruce, founder of Got To Get Out, to write about his favourite adventures. He says that getting outside and exploring nature is not only beneficial for the body, but a proven and easy way to improve your mental health.
The adventure in a sentence:
Adventure lovers may be more familiar with the popular Pinnacles hut in the Kauraeranga Valley than Crosbies Hut but the latter is a hike worth doing.
Where is it?
Crosbies Hut is located on the Memorial Loop Track off the Main Range Track, approximately 12 km north east of Thames.
It took us about five hours of hiking to get to the hut from the road-end where we parked the car overnight.
Where to stay?
You spend the night in the very comfortable 10-bed Crosbies Hut, which offers panoramic views of the Coromandel Main Range.
The hut is well equipped with a table, chairs, and fireplace. Ours was a pleasant stay at a very modern lodge with good facilities.
About the adventure:
Despite the Pinnacles Hut being off limits right now, hikers wanting to get out of the city still have some incredible options in the Coromandel Forest Park.
Bookings are required from the DOC website, but we had no trouble booking only a week or two before departure.
The walk in to the hut takes you through stunning regenerating and original bush including towering kauri.
The walk includes some tough terrain, roots, slippery track, and deep mud in places.
Good boots, gaiters, and travelling light are some tricks - the views at the end are totally worth any mud or effort to get there.
How long does it take?
Once you park your car at the end of the road it's a solid six hours to the hut depending on how many stops you make for snacks or to take in the views.
Difficulty rating (1-5): 3
The distance is not so much the problem, it is easily managed by most hikers in a day walk.
The deep mud and slippery tracks do pose some challenges to first-timers, so having good grip on your shoes is key.
What to bring?
The hut has water, but no power and DOC always recommends boiling hut water.
You need to book the hut in advance so it's unlikely you will be on the floor.
A sleeping bag, food, drinking water, and some nice dry socks are a must. Take some cards or a book, and relax – that's what getting out is all about.
Other vital info:
Keep an eye on the weather forecast as it can be changeable, and stay in touch with DOC in the region.
They're helpful and will let you know about any track closures in the area. It is worth phoning ahead to check if there's anything you need to know before hitting the trails.
Why I recommend it:
The views out towards the Pinnacles almost make up for not being in the Pinnacles Hut.
Crosbies is well equipped and comfortable, and the views are stunning.