As we roll into our final month in New Zealand this country continues to amaze and impress. We completed a short house sit in Hastings before touching base with our cousins in the Bay of Plenty, and now, up into the Coromandel. One of the great things about NZ is due to it’s small size you can switch up sights with a short half day drive.
Enroute to Hastings we saw a small road sign for The Three Sisters and decided to check it out. At the mouth of the Tongaporutu River the water has worked its’ magic on the soft shorefront stone.
As we drove up the west coast we would come across these little fishing/farming villages tucked into valleys. Wonderful finds with a quaint feeling to them.
Our last stop on the west coast, Kawhia, before heading east. As the school holidays are over here, when we arrive at a campsite finding a spot is not too difficult.
One of the many geothermal wonders on the north island is the phenomenon of “hot beaches”. If you have a choice, you might want to check out the one at Kawhia Beach on the west coast. Above is a photo of the crowds at Kawhia Beach, as opposed to the circus at the Hot Beach up in the Coromandel on the east coast pictured below.
The water comes out of the ground between about 55 and 65C. Dig your own hole and have a hot tub. The water cools enough due to cool sand and ocean water seeping into be able to enjoy it.
Other than the two cyclones that brushed by, overall the weather has been fantastic for us. However, as we traversed the north island we were subject to a few days of wet, foggy weather. It certainly made the driving more interesting.
As we headed up into the
Coromandel region we had no trouble seeing why this area is slated as the place Kiwis go to holiday. Not just because over 1.5 million of the total population of about 4.8 million live less than a 2 hour drive away in Auckland. The area itself is spectacular.
This old pump house in Waihi was part of the huge gold mining activity in the area.
It seems that around every corner on the roads (and there are a lot of corners) another beautiful vista appears.
It was overcast most evenings, however we still managed to enjoy a couple of lovely sunsets.
Cathedral Cove is listed as one of the “must see’ sights in the Coromandel. It is beautiful and unique, but the crowds do take away a bit of the charm.
I personally enjoyed the 40 minute walk into Cathdral Cove more than the cove itself. The views up the coastline were awesome.
The campgrounds here have been a new experience for us. We have been using private campsites with our tent and have found them to be excellent. Great kitchen facilities and clean washrooms and showers. The only downfall this one had was on our second night there a school group arrived and set up near us…. Why do 10 year olds feel the need to wake up so early? The teachers did do a great job of keeping them occupied though.
This Muscovy duck came by when we were packing up to check if we were leaving anything behind.
One of the interesting history notes in the north end of New Zealand is the story of the Kauri trees. As we crossed the Coromandel we did a short walk into one of the remaining Kauri groves.
This corner of New Zealand deserves the reputation it has. Beautiful and intriguing to explore. And when the weather cooperates the days end with sunsets worth heading out to enjoy.
As we head out of the Coromandel to complete our last two house sits, I do truly hope to return to this area. A week or two of hiking here would be well worth the time invested.
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Fantastic photos of our homeland. Luckily it didn’t bring on a bout of homesickness ☺ We are from the Bay of Plenty. Pleased to read that you enjoyed your trip.