Fletcher Bay to Stony Bay
Head to carpark at Fletcher Bay, Coromandel.
A lot of this track is through paddocks & exposed to the elements, so make sure you bring a hat, plenty of sunscreen & something waterproof.
We head through the campsite toward the fence where we see the
signage for the walkway by the fence style. We head up the paddock hill track for a few minutes.
Upon the top of this we are greeted by another beach down below and the views opening up to the islands beyond to the left & to the steep hill known as sugar loaf ahead. We follow the markers & the track through the paddock, cross over a small bridge & head upwards on the
quadbike track towards sugar loaf. There are a couple of tracks that veer off to the left, but just follow the markers straight ahead & upwards at a pretty easy gradient and over another fence style. As you gain height the views just keep on getting better of the paddock valley , the surrounding islands, coastline & sea beyond .
After about 20 minutes or so we come to the sign posted junction for the inland bike track to the right & the coastal track on the left. We head right & continue as we mean to go on - upwards. We then come across a T junction at a shed where there are different coloured
markers in both directions , left & right. The Blue & pink ones are used for the baiters. We see the orange markers heading right & towards the fenceline. We head right.
After a few metres we come across another sign ensuring we’re on the right path & also showing how high you currently are and the considerable elevation we have yet to make. The top the hill show 510 metres. This track pretty much just follows the fenceline & gets pretty steep & keeps on going upwards. When you think you are pretty close to the top , don’t be fooled, because around the next bend is more hill – this happens a couple of times. Although this constant incline can be pretty hard going, the spectacular views are most rewarding and the once steep looking sugarloaf is dwarfed and you get to see the Fletcher bay campsite very tiny below.
After about 1 ¾ hours of uphill we are at the top of the track and enjoy a well deserved Cuppa Tea & Oatmeal Raisin Cookies. From here the track is pretty easy going & flatish and is fairly wide (for a quad bike). There are a couple of tracks on the left heading into the bush below, but the hand painted/marked signage is pretty clear to continue straight ahead towards Stony Bay.
After about 20 minutes or so, the tracks slopes downwards & the bush closes in on either side. The track is still wide and is hard orangey rock / clay underfoot. It doesn’t take long before it gets pretty steep & is pretty slippery (even when fairly dry – this would be pretty treacherous in the wet). This steep decline is pretty hard going on the knees & you need to
watch your footing. There are quite a few twists & turns & plenty of bumps & I imagine quite a few mountainbikers would easily wiped out.
After about an hour of descent we arrive at a stream crossing which delightfully cools down our feet as we linger for a bit. The track is now pretty much flat through a paddock of cool cabbage & puriri trees & sheep with black faces. After about 3 hours from starting out we reach beautiful Stony Bay & head straight for the sea for a cool down & a bit of a swim in the
clear blue water.
Revitalised we north up the beach & up alongside the campsite & see the signage for track heading towards Fletcher Bay. This track is pretty much flat (which only a slight incline at first) & enclosed by bush providing plenty of cover from the elements. In between gaps in the
trees we are treated to various viewpoints of Stony Bay below. This track winds around the coast and there are sporadic beautiful views to be had. After about an hour we come to a wee trickling waterfall at the side of the track. This provides a cool & tranquil setting for our lunch of Potuguese Sarnies & a quenching cuppa Tea.
Refuelled we continue on the winding path through the bush still enjoying views every now & then. After a while we arrive at a junction to the left to a Lookout. We can’t resist , and 5 minutes later we are treated to stunning panoramic views of sea, coastline, islands, bush & hills. Afterwards we continue on more of the same and after a while the track comes out of the bush and is pretty much the side of the hill & pretty exposed. It then heads downwards to Poley Bay. This place is a tad too dodgy to swim as its pretty rocky, but good enough to take of the shoes & cool down a tad. There are some amazing patterns on the rocks too.
Afterwards we head back to the track and across a wee stream & upwards & back into the bush. After about half an hour we arrive back at the junction where this track meets up with the inland bike track. From here we back track the way we came all the way back to the campsite for a well deserved beer.
Total loop time was just about 6 ½ hours.
Level of Difficulty
Total Loop Time
6.5 hours (Summer 2012)