A Travellerspoint blog

Coromandel Peninsula

We headed to Coromandel Peninsula next, which is full of amazing beaches. We spent the first night in Coromandel in a scenic campsite.
From here we walked along Long bay and skimmed some stones and headed into the woods behind to get a look at the native Kauri tree, which is now endangered.90_P3240218.jpg
We then crossed the Peninsula stopping at Whangapoua for a stroll over the headland to New Chums beach (only accessible on foot) before having a picnic beside the sea.
The evening was spent in Hahei. We first walked along the Cathedral Cove walkway to Cathedral Cove. A beautiful but busy beach with white cliffs and a cove nonetheless. En route back we stopped at Gemstone bay, a much quieter and stony beach where we went snorkeling, with the snorkel we'd bought in Mancora, Peru, nearly 6 months ago!
That evening we took a shovel and headed to Hot Water beach and low tide as the sun was setting. Here there were lots of people digging holes on the beach to create their very own thermal bath. This is because of more geothermal activity (a theme in New Zealand) which heats the water underneath to as much as 65 degrees. After a few attempts to find the right spot we finally got the right mix of hot and cold and water and were able to sit back and relax in our very own thermal sand bath. Back at camp we then went to sleep to the sound of the waves on Hahei beach.

Posted by Time Well Spent 21:34 Archived in New Zealand Comments (0)


Rotorua is a town with a lot of geothermal activity and we could smell the sulphur before we'd even arrived. As a result of this there are many holes in the ground that spew sulphur and bubble mud. As you can see from the below pictures.
We stayed here for three nights as there was a lot to do but we also had a rather nice hot pool at the campsite. The Government gardens in the town were very pretty next to the lake and very quaint with people playing Croquet.
Here we did manage to walk around a lake. A much smaller one, called blue lake. It took us an hour and a half. It was very pretty and peaceful and not raining more importantly.
We also visited Rainbow Springs, a type of bird sanctuary where they have Kiwis. We went in the evening as the birds are nocturnal. After a walk around the rest of the sanctuary the Kiwis then began to awaken. There is no picture taking allowed so you'll have to make do with these representations and one from the internet of a Kiwi. We had to be patient and wait for them to come into view but once they did they were fascinating to watch.
90_P3220126.jpg90_P3220132.jpg Kiwi.jpg90_P3220145.jpgP3220161.jpg
In 1886 a volcano called Mount Tarawera erupted and buried an entire village in mud. We took the opportunity to go and see what had been excavated and learn about the history of the village before heading over to the Redwood forest for a stroll. An incredible forest with lots of giant redwoods, funnily enough. We then spent the evening relaxing in the hot pool at the campsite.

Posted by Time Well Spent 21:21 Archived in New Zealand Comments (0)

Lake Waikaremoana

We picked up the car and set out to do the four day hike around Lake Waikaremoana. We arrived in the evening to spend a night next to the lake before setting off. The weather was beautiful and it looked something like this.
We awoke the next morning to a lot of rain! Just our luck. Given the weather was expected to remain poor for the next 3 or 4 days - typical, we bailed out of the four day walk and attempted the four hour hike to the summit. We set off in our brand new hiking shoes.
However after 2 hours of up we were rewarded with this pitiful view and decided to to waste anymore time going up and to turn around and come back to a warm lunch and a hot shower as we were once again completely soaked through.
But we managed to remain in good spirits - haha!
After an unsuccessful attempt at hiking around Lake Waikaremoana we headed to Rotorua, for some warmth.

Posted by Time Well Spent 21:14 Archived in New Zealand Comments (0)

Hawke's Bay

We arrived into Aukland at 4.30 in the morning after a 13 hour flight and 16 hours of time lost meaning having left Friday night it was Sunday morning we arrived. We had a bus leaving for Hastings at 12.30pm so knew we would have some time to kill but imagined that customs would do some of this for us. However we were rushed through and out in the airport with our bags half an hour after landing wondering what we were to do until midday! Luckily with the time difference and it being the last day of the six nations we managed to find a bar in the airport which would play it for us! This killed some time and then we went off into Aukland in search of a breakfast with bacon! yum!

We eventually waited long enough to catch the bus to Hastings where my Auntie Jillie and Uncle Garth were waiting to collect us. We were well looked after by Jillie and Garth and had our own room and bathroom, luxury! We were treated to some proper home cooking with Jillie making us a full English and roast chicken and Garth doing us a proper corned beef which was delicious and nothing like when it comes from a can! We also had Vegemite! (It's not as good as Marmite).
Being on a farm we helped feed the horses, chickens and dogs in the morning. We were also taken on a guided tour of the area to Ocean Beach, Te Mata peak with its beautiful views of Hastings and Napier which is the art deco capital of New Zealand and also has spectacular views from the viewpoint. Our final bit of excitement was tasting the honey at Arataki Honey where you can see the bees and taste proper Manuka honey!
We look forward to going back late April!

Posted by Time Well Spent 21:08 Archived in New Zealand Comments (0)

A few stats

Distance traveled

By bus 14,800km
By plane 13,950km
By boat 310km

Buses taken - 39

Time spent on public transport
Buses - 275 hours / 11.5 days
Plane - 16 hours
Boat - 4 days in total

Altitude reached - 4,855m

Places visited - 58
Number of hostels stayed in - 54
Nights in a tent - 5

Time in South America - 159 days

Weight of backpacks at the beginning 13kg (average) - weight at the end 16kg (average)

Pictures taken - 1,897 After editing.

Posted by Time Well Spent 12:59 Comments (0)

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