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Moehau Saddle via Doctors Knob Track, Coromandel Forest Park

Moehau. Photo: Vanessa James
Coromandel Forest Park
From Stony Bay, Te Hope Stream or Port Jackson
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Moehau stands guardian over the Coromandel Peninsula. The sacred mountain is home to patupaiarehe, supernatural beings or fairy folk who are said to live in the swirling mists of the mountain-top.

The summit is the burial place of the chief of the Te Arawa canoe, and the full name of the mountain, Te Moengahau-o-Tamatekapua, means the windy sleeping place of Tama Te Kapua.

At 892m, Moehau is the defining point of the Coromandel Range and the highest peak until you reach Te Aroha in the Kaimai Range to the south.

Reaching the actual summit is not possible due to the fact it is an important burial ground for Maori.

Trampers wishing to experience the Coromandel’s highest peak can, however, hike to the saddle beneath the summit and still enjoy spectacular views across the Hauraki Gulf to Auckland and the Sky Tower.

Moehau is an important site for the rare and tiny Archey’s and Hochstetter’s frogs. The route starts at Stony Bay and is narrow and steep.

It is not well-maintained and even though it is marked, it would be easy to lose the track if you are not paying attention.

The first landmark reached is Doctors Knob, marked on the map as Pt609.

From here, the gradient eases somewhat to Moehau Saddle. The hike is dangerous in rain or low cloud due to poor visibility.