From the seaside to Hobbiton via the caves

Published: April 1st 2017
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Having nearly been in New Zealand for a week it was back in the spaceship schnitzel for some more adventuring! We popped into Pukekoe and ended up staying with Kath and Carey for the evening. We enjoyed a lovely BBQ on the 16 burner grill with Whitney playing in the background! Although if you ask Jo there was maybe too much steak!! She hasn't looked at one since! Back in the car the next day and it was off to the coromandels! We had a lovely walk along cooks beach, paddling our feet in the water- we basically had it to ourselves. Deciding we needed to see more we put on our swim wear and headed to warm water beach- unfortunately we had just missed the low tide for enjoying the warm water! Not disheartened we moved on to do cathedral cove and hahi for another beach picnic. After Jo had fed the seagulls most of hers we had a swim and snorkel in the crystal clear waters before crashing out on the sand. Revitalised we had another wander up to cathedral cove- the car park was full earlier and we didn't want to get the water taxi. This time we managed to park up and wander across the bays to eventually reach cathedral cove. With the sun setting and the water still warm- it really was something special. Thirsty from our walk to the cove we stopped off for a quick beer on the way back before heading off to our camp site.
The first night in our schnitzel I have to say was actually really comfy! We managed to cook ourselves a healthy vegetable pasta dinner and gaze at the stars before an early night.
We were back at hot water beach in the morning for low tide to enjoy the warm water. Spade in hand we managed to bag ourselves a nice little patch in a seriously warm pool- hotter than a bath! And I like my baths hot! There we were relaxing in the water when out of nowhere came- I kid you not 100+school kids. All screaming and yelling, mucking about in the hot hot water, falling into my little pool of paradise... surrounded I tell you!!! Well we managed to stay out for all of 15 mins before admitting defeat and moving on! I have to say though- what a cool school trip! With the weather looking a little over cast we headed off to mount monganui for some more beach. It turned out to be more of a late lunch and stroll along the beach but again another great spot. Content and ready for an early night we headed off to another camp site for the evening. We were getting pretty good at this now!
This site was in the middle of waterfall national park- perfect. When we arrived we found that we would be sharing the site with the local herd of sheep! Again Jo tries to befriend them and ends up chasing them around with a handful of grass to try and entice them closer!! Covered in sand I went and had a fab shower. When I came out of the shower Jo was sat by the car chuckling away to herself- a huge girl guide group had just turned up and invaded the couple next to us camping spot- so much so they actually moved. So now we were sharing the site with sheep and about 20 girl guides! Reminiscing about our own girl guide days we had quite the entertaining evening.
The next day the weather was a bit pants as expected, so we got on the road early and headed to Waitomo for some glow worms! Now Jo wasn't exactly thrilled at the thought of being under ground in cold water but went along with it anyway. Everything was going fine, having seen lots of beautiful glow worms, until the guide showed us an eel! After that it was less attention on the glow worms and more on the eels!! All in all though we had a fab time as you would expect. Not content with that we continued the tourist thing and finished the day at Hobbiton! It did rain but thankfully they had umbrellas so Jo could take a picture of every single hobbit hole!! It helps that they keep you going with the promise of free alcohol at the end!! In fairness it's pretty impressive what they have done with the place!
We're off to Rotorua in the morning- or should that be Rotovegas!!!!!
Happy in Hobbiton Lauren and Jo

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