Saturday, December 10, 2011

Stunning Coromandel

The day finally came!  Martha and Sam arrived in New Zealand!!!  Work seemed to take forever, and even though I only got to the airport 30 minutes before my flight it seemed like hours!

Finally we made it up to Auckland and reunited with our friends!  We went and grabbed our car (the beast) and hit the road getting out of Auckland as soon as possible, only after Colin got us lost for the first time, and had good old Burger Fuel for dinner.
 (we basically did the long red loop you can see, and then over back towards the west is Auckland)

Once out of Auckland it was a quick two hour drive to Coromandel Town where we stayed for the night.  We woke up early the next morning and searched for a Cafe which was HIGHLY recommended and it didn't disappoint!  All vegetarian (didn't tell them! shhh) we had amazing food at a little hippie cafe and took some treats for the road!
we spent the day exploring small towns, visiting beaches, relaxing and finding our camping spot for the night.  (New Zealand has these things called Holiday Parks.. they're like pretend campgrounds where its $19 PER PERSON, not per tent or spot, per person!  You can't have fires but they have communal kitchens and bathrooms... not really camping if you ask me)

The one good part was our camp spot was being right next to the beach and we got to see the moon rise.. yah never seen that before! it was absolutely beautiful!

The next day we were up bright and early (from not sleeping well in our tents) and headed out to Hot Water Beach and Cathedral Cove.  Hot Water Beach we thought was just a tourist trap (well it kind of is) but when the tide gets low enough, its right above hot springs that come rushing up from the sand, it was so cool! But man oh man there were TONS of people trying to get their portion of hot water.  We spent the afternoon there relaxing on the beach (me getting eaten alive by sand flies that bite... over 50 bites for me...) and then headed out to lunch at another amazing and highly recommended cafe.

 (Nelson fell asleep in the sand... and got a HUGE sand mustache!)

After some lunch we got away from the craziness at Hot Water Beach and headed towards (Another tourist destination) Cathedral Cove. It was stunning!  It reminded me of places in Thailand from the rock and colours surrounding the area.  The walk through part of the cove is only open when the tide is down so you have to time it right. 

Sucked though because since a few rocks have fallen, it was closed.... with a really small wire fence saying do not enter.... so we did! oops!  (totally worth it!)

 (Martha and I in the mini cave we found)

well basically New Zealand is absolutely beautiful...(but whats new)

So we continued on in for our long weekend journey down to our last hostel for the trip, in a small, not even town on the water.  The YHA hostel was so cool!  We had an amazing dinner which of course, Colin cooked for us, and they even had free kayaks we could take out in the morning!  So the next morning Sunday, 13 November we got up early to hit the water. We spent around two hours out there exploring some great surf beaches and playing in the water.  Not to mention so amazing views!

Absolutely beautiful! don't see this view everyday;  Hills of lush green grass, white sand beaches and blue ocean water!

our lovely "Beast" - great car to get us around!

The rest of the day we spent driving back to Auckland, seeing an old mining town and say good bye (well only Nelson and I, we had to get back to work/school and then Colin, Sam and Martha came down by bus that week.)

If you had any doubts before that New Zealand was amazingly beautiful... you can now rest assured that it is!  

Below are photos of the old mining town and the Mt Eden Crater in Auckland (so cool!)

 favourite drink in NZ - L and P! so good!

 Mt. Eden Crater

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