If you are looking for a challenging but rewarding overnight hike on the Coromandel Peninsula (that’s better than the pinnacles!), I highly recommend giving Crosbies Hut a go.
This modern 2010 hut offers stunning views of the Coromandel Main Range and the Firth of Thames, making it a fantastic destination to experience the diverse scenery, kauri groves, and historical sites of the Coromandel Forest Park. You’ll probably also catch an epic sunrise or sunset from the hut too!
In this post, I’ll provide some tips and my experience so you’re better equipped for the Crosbies Hut hike.
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Crosbies Hut Hike Overview
Crosbies Hut is a modern cabin in the Coromandel Forest Park. It’s nestled on the site of an old farming settlement from 1880 and you can access it via various routes, with popular options being Waiomu Valley Road and Te Puru Track. This is a moderately strenuous hike, with a few muddy areas and steep ascents, and covers a distance of 12 km. It should take you approximately 5 hours to get to the hut at an elevation of 620 m. We measured the elevation gain to be 819m
To overnight, you’ll need to book the hut in advance. Especially during the peak seasons. If you wish, you can extend your hike by visiting the Pinnacles, which are about 2 hours away from the hut. One of the attractions along the way includes native flora and fauna, and the historic kauri dams and groves.
The starting point of the hike is at Waiomu Valley Road car park, about 15 km north of Thames. Here are route options for when you begin the tramp.
Option 1. Waiomu Kauri Grove
[Note: This track is currently closed at the time of updating this article]
This is the first and easiest section of the hike. It follows a well-formed track through a beautiful kauri grove where you’ll encounter impressive kauri trees. You’ll also cross a couple of bridges over the Waiomu Stream, where you can refill your water bottles. This section is about 9 km long and takes about 5 hours.
Option 2. Te Puru Track
Te Puru is not only a popular route, it’s also the shortest and easiest track to the hut. It starts from Te Puru Creek Road end–about 9 km long–and takes 3 hours to navigate. It’s mostly flat and gentle with minor descents and ascents, making it beginner and family-friendly. You’ll trail along a stream valley and cross some farmland, eventually joining the Waiotahi Track at the Waiotahi Saddle.
Option 3. Waiotahi Track
The Waiotahi track starts from Waiotahi Road, Thames, stretches for 13 km, and takes a good 4 hours to tramp. It’s also one of the easiest tramps and rewards you with stunning views of the Firth as you approach the settlement.
Option 4. Karaka Track
Karaka is not very beginner-friendly. It’s long (about 14 km) and hard, with rugged and muddy sections. It’ll take you approximately 5½ hours as you climb through the native forest and cross some streams before joining the Waiotahi Track. From here, you’ll have to maneuver a ridge before descending to the hut.
Option 5. Whangaiterenga Track
Another trail that links with Karaka, this one starts from the Whangaiterenga campsite. It’s 12 km long and takes about 4½ hours. It’s not a challenging track, but I recommend you have decent fitness levels because it’s paved with steep sections. What I like about it is that it’s remote. So if you’re trying to avoid a crowd, opt for this route.
When Is The Best Time To Hike To Crosbies Hut
Trekking to Crosbies is a matter of personal experience and can be done all year round. But I found the following seasons to offer the best experience.
Spring is often the best time to avoid the crowds that flock to the hut and the Pinnacles in summer. You can enjoy the peace of the forest and the views of the hut without too much competition for space. It’s also a good time to see the native flora in bloom. Which is simply breathtaking.
Warmer days often mean more crowds. But an awesome perk is that it’s drier so you can enjoy the hike without worrying too much about rain, wind, or cold. You can also pack lighter and wear more comfortable clothes. I’m a huge fan of water activities, so the warmth allows me to explore the coastline and the islands nearby.
Further Details On Crosbies Hut
Crosbies hut costs $30 per adult and $15 per child (5-17 years) per night.
A serviced 10 bed hut in the Kaharanga park. Built in 2010, this is a warm and well insulated hut with woodburner for the winter months.
There is a rainwater tank at the hut. But, as the name suggests, the water’s availability is dependent on rain. Bring a couple of extra liters in case it’s dry. It’s also boil before drinking, so if you heed these warnings its a good idea to bring purification tablets or a filter bottle.
Unlike some of the newer huts, there’s no solar at Crosbies so bring headtorches to see, and a powerbank if you need to recharge. It may seem kinda obvious writing this, but some of the new great walks huts have USB points!
I’ve been up to Crosbies twice and both times the firewood box was empty, but there was coal. I’d recommend collecting some tinder along the way so you can get the coal starter if you do plan on having a fire. There’s slim pickings around the hut as others have already had this thought!
Frequently Asked Questions
How long is the walk to Crosbies hut?
The trail to Crosbies Hut stretches for about 12.7 km, and it takes about 4 to 6 hours to get to the accommodation. Although that’s according to the DOC sign. Interestingly, we had two GPS watches, a Garmin and an Apple Watch and both recorded just over 15km for the track each way – so maybe err on the high side.
What is the easiest track to Crosbie Hut?
The easiest track to Crosbies Hut is Te Puru. It’s gentle and less muddy, making it beginner and family-friendly. Unfortunately it’s also currently closed, which means your best option is currently the Waiotahi Track.
What is the elevation of Crosbies hut?
Crosbies Hut has an elevation of 620m.
Crosbies Hut is a great destination for hikers who want to experience the diverse scenery, kauri groves, and historical sites of the Coromandel Forest Park. The hike is moderately challenging but extremely rewarding. You’ll experience stunning views of the Coromandel Main Range and the Firth of Thames, historical sites, and various native flora and fauna.
There are several route options to choose from. If you’re embarking as a beginner, I recommend approaching the hut from Te Puru. It’s a gentle and easy trail. And because it’s less muddy, you won’t experience any slippery slopes that sometimes make the adventure challenging.