After one full day of travel, New Zealand (NZ) has amazed us already!
We had a casual start today at the B&B. Our hosts cooked us a delicious 3-course breakfast and then we sat around talking and laughing with the other two couples who were also at the the B&B. This is one of the reasons we enjoy staying in B&B’s! Shortly after leaving the B&B we found a grocery store where we stocked up on enough food for a day or so. The big grocery store here is Countdown and must be owned by Woolworths because the logo is the same. It was interesting to see some new brand names on food, new from Australia.
Today we drove about 2 hours east of Auckland to the Coromandel Peninsula. The Pacific Ocean borders the peninsula on the east and the Firth of Thames ( a bay) on the west. Our first stop was at the hike to the summit of Mt. Paaku for a 360 degree view of the area. Stunning!
From here we went into the town of Tairua where we ate a picnic lunch near the beach. We planned to camp in our Jucy by the beach in the town Hahei at the Hahei Holiday Resort. Because this is low tourist season, we had no trouble getting a place to park our camper van. There are actually more people out and about than normal because it is the second week of school holidays. Once we knew where we would be staying tonight we drove to a nearby hike to Cathedral Rock. There were two spur hikes along the Cathedral Rock track which we took to beautiful beaches.
Cathedral,Rock was aptly named because it is an enormous arch through a headland of rock, with a ceiling that must rise 25 meters above the sand floor. It was an awesome sight to see and then to walk through to another lovely beach on the other side. There were a fair number of people on the beaches on either side of the Cathedral Rock, some were even swimming. There were large solitary rock formations in the water just on either side of the Cathedral Rock which reminded us of the Twelve Apostles. We walked around a while before hiking back to the car.
We spent some time at the campground rearranging our suitcases and acquainting ourselves with the features of Jucy, especially the set-up for sleeping. We wanted that figured out before darkness fell! The campground has a large kitchen building with lots of sinks, gas stoves, a few microwave ovens and a couple of refrigerators for use by the campers. So we carried our dinner ingredients and tableware over to the building and had an easy time cooking our spaghetti dinner.
Oh, I almost forgot, we went to a beach called Hot Water Beach, so named because when the tide is out, you can dig down in the wet sand to discover hot spring water bubbling it. We visited late in the day, as the tide was coming in, but there were still a group of young people digging in the sand while sitting in the hot water! Wild!
We are now sitting in Jucy, in the back, with the iPad on the table. We are quite comfortable. This park cost us $40.00 NZ, which is about $32 US. And we could buy 24 hours of Internet for $5.00. Not a bad deal! The Internet is wireless and we are sitting in Jucy using it!
Tomorrow we are going sea kayaking with a guided tour, should be fun!
I think I have a couple more photos to include, but I will wish you all a G’Day Mates!