Published: January 18th 2011January 18th 2011
Good morning all
Suz and I returned last night from an amazing 2 day tour of the Coromandel Peninsula. Driving from here there was rolling hills and farmland and then we went up and up into the remains of a lot of volcanoes extinct many millions of years ago… so when the road signs said bends for 14km – it literally was bend after bend up and up and then down and down…then there would be another sign to say bends for 14km – and so it went . It was a very good road however and thought steep and winding there were barrier and good marking – not quite like nightmare drivingin South of France we have had. The views we had were so beautiful and every now and then we would come to a little town with unpronounceable Maori names like Waihi or Whatamake or Whataki or Whatasomething. We stopped and admired the beautiful beaches and bays and the little towns which in a NZ laid back manner still have Xmas decorations and Merry Xmas signs everywhere.
On our way we stopped at one of th many tourist i-sites – which have all the maps and info you could
ever want –and they also book tours etc for you – so we booked onto a boat trip of the coast at Hahei. We were told to drive to a place and walk onto the beach to the blue tractor …and there it was –PARADISE!!! The beach there was stunning ( really I got no words to describe it) the water was turquoise, a beautiful sandy bay and rocks and islands in front of you. We knew that Cathedral Cove and Rock nearby were a real attraction but really the whole coastline here is heavenly. A few minutes later the boat came in – it was a rigid inflatable and held 8 people. We had to wade into the lovely warm water to get into the boat – which helped to cool us down anyway!!! And off we went –FAST!!!! I have never done a boat trip like that- the water was calm with just a little swell but we were bouncing along and spray coming up – very exhilarating. So we had 1 hour of exploring the coast stopping on the way to admire certain rock formations and going into some of the caves …I managed to take some
great video shots- and finally we coasted into Cathedral Cove and Rock - there is a beautiful archway eroded into the rock and people can walk through – well there have been some rock falls and so they are not supposed to be walking through – but they are. WOW – fabulous –is all I can say… then we were in Stingray Cove – and you could just see there shadows in the water there…we were told to look out for a big fin as a great white had been spotted lately!!!! Don’t know if that was just a sailor’s yarn or the real thing!!! Best not to dwell on it. And so we were back on land – and I think that trip goes down as one of the most happy memorable events in my life along with snorkelling on the Barrier Reef, cross country skiing in Sweden, abseiling in the Lake District , the morning horse ride in Banf….some days stay with you forever as really special.
After that excitement we were getting hungry and found a nice bistro place in another little town – Whitianga- I had their special seafood chowder and Suz had their calamari salad–
best we ever tasted.
So do you get the flavour of this trip – we so enjoyed it all - and I had booked us into a another of these small BBH hostels- more like staying in someones house with a few extra bedrooms and a kitchen. This time we were at Black Jack Lodge named after the mountain behind and the reef in front. A lovely place in a great location – by another lovely beach and by a river too …we had a little cabin – once the Bakehouse- it was so cute. There were chooks and baby chicks which Suz fell in love with and I am sure she wanted to smuggle one out.
Unfortunately it isn’t sunny all the time and by late afternoon we had rain and drizzle which did continue into the second day. It seems we had the tail end of a cyclone – most of which has been hitting Australia. But it was warm rain and we could sit out on our verandah and relax in the tropical garden…So altogether it was an amazing 2 day trip – and the second day again saw us circumnavigating the rest of the peninsula around
the West coast – and after more and more bendy roads up and over mountains we had bendy roads hugging the coast.
And so back to our holiday resort at Mount Maunganui – and a very wet evening with rain lashing down…but we have woken today ( Wednesday) to clearer skies and a bit of wind so maybe it won’t be too bad a day after all….and will give us a rest from sunshine. I did buy a sun dress so I hope I haven’t put a jinx on the weather.
So enjoy these photos – love to everyone.
Lynne and Suz
Sorry if there are typos or spelling mistakes but I am in a bit of a rush.
PPS Had to take photo of Wilson Bay - my family name !!!
There are more photos below