In 2016, we traveled to New Zealand’s North Island, after a brief stopover in Tahiti. Arriving in Auckland, we rented a 24 ft RV to make a circuit of island highlights – starting with a visit to the Coromandel peninsula. I thought a couple of nights along a beautiful beach would be just the right way to start out trip – Google maps says it’s only a couple of hours from the airport. What I didn’t think about was the road to get there. In a right-hand drive big box, driving on the left-hand side of the road. Over the mountains, on twisty two lane roads with no shoulder. Two years later, I still apologize to my dear Hub for how badly I planned the driving.
We had a campsite in Hahei, a nice quiet beach town, not far from Cathedral Cove and Hot Water Beach. This was a very different type of camping from our experience, but it was great to be spending so much time outdoors. Here’s the ginormous rolling home we rented.
The beach was gorgeous, and we had this lovely sunrise.
Like most of our trips, we planned at least one trip on a boat. We drove over to Whitianga, and booked a tour with Captain Les of Sea Cave Adventures. We were his only passengers and he took us on a great tour of Mercury Bay and the surrounding coastal area. It was a small Zodiac style boat – very fun to ride, and able to access some really cool places.
Since New Zealand is volcanic in origin, there are a lot of caves along the coast, and it was so interesting to see how the lava cooled and formed. Captain Les was born and raised in the area, and was a fountain of knowledge. He also asked around and learned where the latest dolphin sightings were and took us out to see.
I hope to one day return and spend more time exploring the rest of the Coromandel – such a beautiful part of New Zealand. But on to more adventures!