Blogs from Coromandel Peninsula, North Island, New Zealand, Oceania


Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Coromandel Peninsula January 11th 2018

Well, here we are, on the other side of the world! Over 11,000 miles from home, 13 times zones ahead of the UK and absolutely no idea whatsoever, what day of the week it is!! But, here's the good news for all those budding cartographers among you................we have a new map for you to ponder over. I do so like a good map!! Now, New Zealand is famous for many things such as, the number of sheep (30 million at the last count!), the All Blacks Rugby Union team, Sir Edmund Hilary (the first man to climb Everest, of course) and the Flight of the Conchords, for those lovers of very off beat humour amongst you! But, to Mandy and I, one of the most famous sons of this fine nation is a certain Keith Urban, ... read more
Skytower No: 1
Skytower No: 2
What might have been!

Arrived safe and sound for our first visit to New Zealand.... read more

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 ... read more

Ah, sand between the toes, the best feeling. A short detour leads to Hot Water Beach. With shovels, people dig down into the sand to create a pit where the water navigates. Once the water permeates to the geothermal, it super heats the liquid to 170 C. A young couple from Argentina invites us to put our feet into their 'pit'. This feels much like Canada's hot springs in Radium. The curves on the coastal road are extreme, and I think I've left finger grooves on the sides of my seat. But, the views continue to have me saying 'Oh, my.' Each vista surprisingly becomes more beautiful than the last. Whangamata has fun boutiques where Chris buys a Walter White pork pie hat. Continuing on to Katikati, which of course is named after me, and into ... read more
Geothermal Feed Water - Scalding Hot!
Fashion Statement - Not sure!
It's a mystery!

Leaving the big city and winding through to the coastal roads. Yes, this is what we came to NZ for. Taking a wrong turn, we are rewarded with drop dead GORGEOUS vistas. High rolling hills filled with lush greenery. Now, if only we could navigate, gawk, and take pictures at the same time. Country roads are extremely narrow and very curvy. The highway is dotted with olive estates and dairy farms. Thames town provides lunch and quaint shops. It is named by Capt. Cook as he felt the Waihou River resembled the British Thames. Am on a quest to purchase a children's book from a local author and artist in each country. Found 'The Fish of Maui' (named after a child) which has wonderful illustrations and tells the indigenous story of how NZ was formed. Kuaotunu ... read more
The Laundromat
No Explanation Required
Beach after Beach after Beach

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Coromandel Peninsula January 16th 2017

Leaving Northland behind, it took us seven hours to drive the 400km from Lake Taharoa to Thames (on the Coromandel Peninsula), during which we stopped off in Auckland for lunch and a necessary food stock-up. After following the Pacific Coast Highway as far as Thames, we then bid civilization farewell and followed an unsealed road up through the Kauaeranga Valley – which apart from a swanky visitor centre showed absolutely no signs of development whatsoever, apart from the numerous Department of Conservation campgrounds scattered along either side of the road. It was here that we really started to get value for money from the DOC campervan passes I had bought the week before from the Rankers website – at a cost of just $40 ($20 per adult) for one week – for having already spent two ... read more
Kauaeranga Kauri Climax
Pinnacles Panorama
Beautiful Beach

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Coromandel Peninsula » Pauanui November 15th 2016

There is a reason why New Zealand is so can rain a lot, and for our two first days on the North Island, raining a lot it would be. We had another Emirates flight today, direct from Brisbane to Auckland. Impressive to think that Emirates has today 3 flights a day between Australia and New Zealand, all on the giant A380, they must take a huge share of that market! Early morning flight, and last night, the South Island of New Zealand had been hit by a 7.5 earthquake next to Kaikoura. This is the best place to swim with dolphins, see blue whales and eat some crayfishes. So the place was packed with tourists. Good news, as there was only casualties for such a strong earthquake. The roads are cut, people are stranded, but ... read more
Nice Pinot Noir!
Pauanui beach

12 mai 2016: Départ sur la route aujourd'hui, direction la Péninsule de Coromandel. J'ai commencé avec la grisaille mais au fur et à mesure que j'avançais le soleil pointait son nez. Le début de route était une autoroute pour sortir de la ville donc pas intéressant du tout mais dès que j'en suis sortie les paysages ont commencé à devenir très jolis. De la verdure partout, des petites montagnes, des vaches, moutons et chevaux ont eux aussi fait leurs apparitions. Une fois arrivé à Thames j'ai longé la côte jusqu'à Coromandel Town. C'était splendide, malheureusement pas très pratique pour s'arrêter et prendre des photos. J'ai déjeuné près de la côte et reprise de la voiture jusqu'à Whitianga où je voulais passer la nuit. J'ai trouvé une auberge très sympa qui avait vu sur la mer ! ... read more
Hahei hot beach
Cathedrale Cove
Cathedrale Cove

On Day 15 left Warkworth to drive to Coromandel Town in the Coromandel Peninsula. The roads in the peninsula were again challenging with long and winding coastal roads followed by long and winding mountain stretches. Was happy to park my car that night. Although I arrived mid-afternoon, decided to rest the remainder of the day and continue tomorrow. I did, however, get some good scenic shots as I was going up. Lovely scenery. On Day 16 I was in over-drive. I woke early and was on the road at 730 AM as I wanted to tackle New Chum Beach at low tide. It requires a 30 minute hike, with some scrambling over rocks and beach. To get there I visited Whangapoua Beach which is a lovely beach in and of itself. It is, however, also the ... read more
Views of Coromandel Peninsula
Views of Coromandel Peninsula
Views of Coromandel Peninsula

It's clear that our standards have dropped and we are now slumming it on the food front. Tonight's dinner was a very plain affair of Coromandel green lipped mussels and a baguette to mop up the sauce of white wine/garlic/cream/parsley. We've never seen mussels as big as these and they were very sweet.... read more

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