Blogs from Coromandel, North Island, New Zealand, Oceania - page 7


Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Coromandel » Whitianga December 4th 2010

Saturday morning we had planned to do another longer walk along the gorge but Julian fancied snorkling further north so we set off up the coast to Whitianga where we had a lovely cruise back down the coast to Catherdral Cove & beyond, poking the nose of the boat into several caves & coves along the way. The water was very choppy & rather cloudy due to the westerlies but the boat skimmed over the waves beautifully, we got to sit in the very front which was lovely. It was also great as we were the only people on the cruise! We also dropped anchor in the lee of an island where it was calmer & clearer & had went snorkling briefly, we saw some fish & sea urchins down there & the water wasn't tooo ... read more
Contemplating the sea
Cathedral Cove

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Coromandel December 4th 2010

Friday we headed north and east towards the Coromandel Peninsula with a stop off at Maungatautari Ecological Island reserve - a mountain that has been fenced off with a predator-proof fence & extensive predator removal inside has created a virtually predator-free reserve where native birdlife such as Kaka, Hihi & Kiwis can survive & breed. The have an observation tower & up the top we met a student studying the Kakas breeding in the reserve. We had a nice long chat about the joys of ecology fieldwork whilst the birds were being elusive! We stopped briefly in Putaruru & grabbed a couple of pies for lunch then again to go & peer at the McLaren Falls then up to Tauranga & the coast. We then headed up the coast to the Karangahake Gorge where we stayed ... read more
McLaren Falls
Predator-proof fence
The way in...

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Coromandel December 2nd 2010

Day 5 A long, uninterrupted sleep for a change. A quick check on the TV news revealed that the headline story was about a man killed in a tractor accident. Apparently, while we slept, we also missed the switching on of the “famous” Franklin Road Christmas lights by the mayor of Auckland. If only we had known we could have done it! After breakfast went back to the airport by bus and took a shuttle from there to the Campervan hire place just off the airport complex. Whizzed through a familiarisation hour and off on the road in the afternoon. Van was similar to a Transit van but another 6 feet longer with windows all round. It was easy to drive though and came with automatic gears and was a diesel so cheaper to run. It ... read more
The site
Shelly Beach
Otama Beach - all to ourselves

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Coromandel » Waihi December 2nd 2010

‘I’m going upstairs now’ William has just told me … and we are living in a Toyota Previa! For the next 19 days William and Emily will be sleeping in a top-box, as their mother and father fight for inches and the duvet in what we are already calling ‘the hearse’. Spaceships© are cool. Spaceships© are groovy … perhaps the images on the website of lots of cheerful, carefree and (importantly) very flexible twenty-somethings should have given it away! The permutations of eating, cooking, sleeping, storing and driving for a family of four all within a volume less than a typical downstairs toilet would surely have challenged Mr Rubik! Awake this morning by 7.00 am (Yes – including Diana!) it still took us nearly three hours to leave the campsite … granted there was some ‘horror’ ... read more
Upstairs ...
Walk through an ancient forest to Cathedral Cove
Cathedral Cove beach

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Coromandel » Coromandel Town November 30th 2010

Auckland to Coromandel (Well, let’s be honest, Auckland to Coromandel via all suburbs of Auckland SE and SW of the great Route 1 South Highway!) Whilst picking up the Spaceship© (ie small car masquerading as camper – won’t we all have lots of fun until it rains!) was straight forward, as was driving on the left in a RH-drive car-like vehicle , following our instructions to return to the highway was anything but. Our initial feelings that Auckland was a small city were completely squashed today as we drove through lots and lots of interlinked suburbs (with absolutely no signs telling you how to get away from them) – so that is where the 1.3 million people live! Finally, and swallowing all pretensions to be an Englishman abroad, I stopped and asked for directions. Five minutes ... read more
The Eagle has landed!
So, can I read Martian?

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Coromandel » Hahei November 13th 2010

Walked to Cathedral Bay in the morning. Drove to Hot Water beach in the afternoon - which is exactly what it is. Two hours before and after low tide you can dig a hole in a particular area and it fills with hot water. We were like kids again with our spade!! We dug a hole and wallowed for ages - it was great. There was quite a party atmosphere sharing our hole with strangers and sometimes it was so hot we had to shift along a bit!... read more
hot water beach

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Coromandel » Hahei November 11th 2010

Day 8 Wednesday Up and off by 10ish. Long journey today driving down through Auckland and then east to Hahei on the Coromandel Penninsula. Took most of the day. Lovely B&B 200 yards from the beach, had supper at the local pub and after a walk to the beach and a paddle off for an early night. ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Coromandel October 29th 2010

We set off with every expectation of getting to our next destination in about 4 hours - funny! Just as we got north of Auckland the traffic starting picking up and then, stop we were in a traffic jam and we crawled all the way through Auckland (with lovely views of the sky tower though and the harbour, you can see why they call it the city of sails). We assumed that the whole population of NZ were in Auckland today!!!! It took us over an hour and a half just to get through the city but gradually the traffic eased as we travelled up the western side of the Coromandel Peninsular and the roads got smaller and smaller until there was just a ‘narrow’ road with ocean on one side and steep cliffs on the ... read more
Cormorants Goat Island
Hot Water Beach

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Coromandel » Whangamata October 18th 2010

As Fern and I were taking a shortcut to the mall Friday afternoon were walked through a swampy gully with a boardwalk. The path was packed with beautiful trees and a birds and a little trickling stream and was simple magical looking! Fern was laughing at me for being so enthralled by everything I saw and promised me that if I thought the “smelly swamp” was pretty, I would go absolutely bonkers when we got to the beach. She was right but more about that later. I should really document all this in chronological order. So after our walk around the shopping center Fern and I continued our tour around the neighborhood by stopping by the most incredible playground I’ve ever seen! New Zealand is a world leader in extreme adventure sports and is undoubtedly home ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Coromandel » Coromandel Town October 8th 2010

Hello again everyone! I’m in Coromandel (the town) now, we spent the night before last in Whitinaga (pronounced ‘Fity-anga’) a small town in the eastern side of the Coromandel Peninsula. We went to the Hot Water Beach and dug a hole to soak in but found that the water was hot enough to boil a lobster so we had to find another place to dig a hole where it was slightly cooler. Anika, Kerstine, and Lena all thought that my newly bleached hair (I’ll get some pictures up after we leave Coromandel because I only have 60MB transfer here) had no practical uses, but who sees me but Tim and Luisa who took their weekend off to relax at the beach and do the Cathedral Cove hike. The only reason they were able to recognize me ... read more

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