I think Fred dropped me back to the campground at about eleven o’clock so I was a little bit groggy the next morning. I made it to the Colville Store shortly before eight and had a couple of pies for breakfast before starting along the road towards Coromandel.
According to the NZ Topo maps there was a ridgeline track that you could access about an hours walk from Colville. Fred had also confirmed this and said that he had done it but years ago.
When I got there though it was a locked farm gate with the trail leading across someones paddock. I am pretty reticent to enter peoples property without asking even if it is stated on the map as public access. Maps can be wrong and there is a lot of political territorial stuff surrounding land ownership in New Zealand.
Luckily I was straight across the road from Branch Creek Furniture which, as I found out, is made by Greg Taylor. Greg was hiding in the bushes waiting to surprise me when I walked up the drive. Not very well though as I saw him. So he handed me a couple of buckets of sheep pellets and we wandered up to see if we could call the farm. Interesting man.
We couldn’t get hold of anyone at the farm but Greg said he used to chop scrub for them up on the hill and they would be OK…..or possibly he said I wouldn’t get a bullet in the head? He also called the track the inland road which was known to many locals as a way to walk to Coromandel.
The track is a little steep but drivable and heads up onto a ridge which connects with the main ridgeline. Actually the whole track turned out to be a four wheel drive track all the way through to Kennedy Bay road where I had lunch up at Tokatea lookout.
After that I crossed the road onto the Kaipawa Trig track and followed that through. It’s a DOC track but a lot rougher than the inland road. There are also signs everywhere saying to stay on the track as there are old mine shafts everywhere.
I was going to go through to the Whangapoua Road but I met a woman who said there was a new track called the Success Track that led straight down into Coromandel. It worked out that it exited about two hundred meters from my cousins so that worked out well.
Unfortunately my Aunt was up at Colville until after New Years so I decided to come back after walking a few more tracks.