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Lynch Stream Track, Coromandel Forest Park

Sea view near Lynch Stream, Coromandel. Photo: Rose Muir
Coromandel Forest Park
Parking off SH25, approximately 7km out of Tairua, or at Sailors Grave car park
BB35, BB36
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Begin the track from the car park off SH25, north of Tairua, in order to enjoy the numerous stairs as a descent at the beginning, and the beautiful beaches as a sensory reward at the end.

The path at this end was recently upgraded, creating the Kauri Loop Walk to entice visitors to the area to enjoy an easy amble that showcases some fine trees.

Proceed beyond the Kauri Loop, where the track becomes more classic; narrow and poorly maintained. Lynch Stream Track involves countless stream crossings, complete with convenient stepping stones, and is named for Dave Lynch, a bushman who worked the area.

The track winds its way through part of a 4000ha Kiwi Recovery Programme, and is one of the biggest uninterrupted blocks of coastal native bush in the country.The forests here stand silent testament to the kauri logging of 1874 to 1900.

Their behemoth stumps punctuating the journey, now hosting new life, so covered with mosses, lichens and seedlings as to resemble coral-encrusted shipwrecks beneath the green sea of the canopy. There are still magnificent mature kauri to be seen deeper in the bush, alongside rimu, flowering rewarewa, rata and beautiful nikau palms.

Turn south when you reach the bay – a tiny rock beach – crossing Lynch Stream one final time, to climb the headland to reach Otara Bay. Climbing above the canopy, there are excellent views of the ocean and islands including Slipper and the distant Aldermans. Otara Bay is a beautiful white sand beach and the final leg of the journey is either a climb over one more headland, or at low tide a scramble around it, encountering rock pools and their inhabitants, finishing at Te Karo Bay, commonly known as Sailors Grave.

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