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Published: February 18th 2009
Leaving the far north (via the most photographed toliets in NZ and the longest footbridge in the Southern hemisphere) we wound our way around the rainy coasts just north of Auckland. Struggling to find a car camp for the night we headed out to Shakespear Park in hopes of a free stay. All we found there were lovely views and probably Auckland's biggest houses. We finally were recommended to stay at the ferry port where we met a couple who had been sleeping in the parking lot for 6 weeks. Now that is what i call commitment to saving money!
Into Auckland city we struggled with direction thanks to the lack of decent street signs and enjoyed the views from the harbour bridge 3 times before leaving the twisting city behind escaping to the Coromandel. Still enduring the rain we checked into a cabin for the evening at the South Western corner of the Coromandel. We awoke the next morning with a plan to head for the top of the peninsula. And what a beautiful drive! We wound along the gravel roads to Fantail Bay-and at the same time wondered why the steering was pulling so hard to the right.
We enjoyed our night at the DOC campsite at the bay, a beautiful little stop before enjoying more of the coastline and heading south again to Coromandel town. It was there we discovered why our car had been acting so strangely on the road. We found 3 of our 4 tires were bald and one so badly that it started showing its metal innards. Not too pleased that our rental company had rented us a car in such dangerous condition we quickly called them to sort it all out. A couple hours later Sunny had 4 new tires, we had no money spent and on we went.
Over the mountain range and via a very random polo tournament we headed to the other side of the peninsula and Hahei. Hahei is a beautiful white sandy beach that our campsite backed right onto. We spent days relaxing and enjoying the sands, Hot Water Beach and the local Cathedral Cove. This amazing place was used in the filming of the last Narnia film and it truly an amazing sight!
From Hahei we journeyed to Waihi. Another car camp in the local parking lot led to a very luxurious Top
10 where we lazed by the pool read a couple books in a couple days and enjoyed the spa. We witnessed the local bird women come to the beach and feed the seagulls who recognized her car and gathered before she pulled up. And took a walk to the next bay along for a beautiful and empty white sandy beach. Leaving the Coromandel we are headed for the Kapa Haka festival.
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