We had a long weekend last week as it is Waitangi day in New Zealand so it was the perfect opportunity for us to explore Coromandel Peninsular and get it ticked off the list, we were optimistic until we saw the forecast. To make things more interesting we were camping to save money as we had booked a really expensive trip. It was forecast to rain the whole weekend as cyclone Victor was making an appearance! We decided to go anyway as we didn’t think we would get much of a chance to for the rest of our time here.
We arrived after about 6 hours and set the tent up in a dry patch of weather just in time before it started raining again! Once we had set up I actually had a really nice time, I hate camping but it was lovely and it was cosy in the tent talking and drinking wine from mugs. I was all ready to change my opinion of camping actually until I couldn’t sleep at 3am due to the wind blowing the tent around, so I spent the rest of the night sleeping in the car! It was surprisingly comfy and when Chris came to find me at 7am in the car he fell asleep too and we both work up at 10 o’clock! It was very handy too because when we woke up we just put the chairs upright and drove to the shops without even getting out of the car.
That day the weather was on and off with rain but very humid. We headed to Cathedral Cove which is famous in Coromandel as it’s absolutely beautiful. Its sits very secluded and is an hours walk and for a tourist attraction it didn’t feel crowded at all. There is a huge cave cut out of the rock linking two coves, and this is how its gets its name due to the shape. We walked along the beach and Chris swam in the sea (until a massive wave smacked him in the back). We were very lucky with the weather because as soon as we got back into the car it started tipping it down again (it was like being at home, which was surprisingly comforting).
It was in the car on the way home that we made a life changing decision- to take the tent down and turn Hugh into a Camper car (best decision ever). So in a gap between showers we took the tent down completely emptied the car and repacked (chairs reclined, toothbrushes and chocolate in glove box and wine slotted nicely between the bed chairs). It was so comfy and cosy that we are actually taking Hugh the Camper car to the Tongariro crossing with us at the weekend – genuinely wish we had discovered this delight earlier! That night we cooked 18 sausages (dinner, breakfast and lunch sorted – we were sick of them by the end) and just read in the car it was lovely.
On Sunday morning we woke up to an overcast day which actually turned out to be really sunny. The plan for today was to head to Hot Water Beach and then drive down the west coast and across to Whakatane for the night. Armed with bucket and spade we set off for the beach, the beach is famous because there are geothermally heated waters underneath the beach and you can dig a hole to make your own little hot spring. It is a very crowded beach and it is the only place that we have been in NZ where I have really felt that it was too busy. It took us a while to build a pool because big waves kept coming in, and until we had a satisfactory wall it kept getting washed away. The funny thing was when we actually had a nice little pool the water was cold, and we had to create a channel from the lovely couple’s pool next to us to have their hot water!
Next we drove the 309 gravel road famous in Coromandel to the Kauri Tree reserve and then down the west coast to Whakatane – for our very exciting trip to White Island!