Our journey down south begins. Passing through the Southern Motorway, a bout 2 hours away from Auckland is the wicked Coromandel Peninsula. My memory of the first impression a few years back was the extreme winding road. On my left was the sea, the wave and ocean, trees growing and bending down towards the beach, reaching out to those waves and lean on the bay rocks while on the left are the hill and Coromandel Range.
Now, those memories are relived with the constant iphone4 snaps.
As you turn left onto the Coromandel road and start driving, the Range view begins to show, the road is quiet and narrow, here we go again.
All the road allowed our view is the sea, a bit of land pointing out, while on the hill side houses are chasing to be facing the sea. This is where the local kiwi called their holiday batch, summer house. What a fabulous idea to live by the sea facing the ocean and your back to the hill. Almost my favourite location for a home.
This is a one of many true tests of a good driver. The road is very narrow and not forgiving, also a frequent and only road for logging trucks, even parts of the road can only cater to one lane and of course one way bridges. I was feeling half scared half thrilled.
Occasional road shoulders give us a glimpse of this rugged nature, a bit raw and untamed although not too wild but a feeling of hidden, closed in and almost isolated. Dont expect the ocean or that wave to be a Phuket sand, there’s rocks pieces along the shore. But when you do have the chance to stop at a viewing point, it took your well my breath away. As I stepped out of our Rav4, I just feel at ease, looking down and out onto the mixed landscape of the sea, hill, green and the farm land filled with those sheep eating away. This is worthy it. Sadly my Canon lens are not wide enough, but my eyes caught this spectacular view.
The peninsula felt like a curvy part of one of North Island land that is proud to stand out and make itself noticed on the map. The area and region is known for being environmentally friendly and sensitive, scattered but not overwhelm with tourist like its Bay of Island ‘competitor’, the population in the small town areas are humble and almost no noise. We settle in Coromandel township with a center literally consist of a tiny areas with small shops. People here love to fish!
We decided to take the comfortable lodge Anchor for our Coromandel stay. The manager/owner is a lovely lady who also an addicted global travelers, learning to speak Thai and super friendly. The lodge room has self-contained unit and a dedicated balcony where we have our little home-made meals. If you dare, enjoy your catch on a day out from the sea and cook it up! Coromandel town has a shop selling smoke fish varieties called The Smoking Company, our perfect lunch break goodies.
The town is awfully quiet but plenty to do, walking track down to the Range is just behind our lodge and nearby beach is perfect for more walks while the sea calling for those baits experts. Dont eat anything at the restaurants in town, just go to the local super market and cook up something.
Venture out to other township in the region, we drove 40km to Cathedral Cove for a bit of a outdoor sphere. Walking track from high hill down to the Cove bottom is around 30 – 40min and it’s not one flat walk ladies, there’s ups and downs, steep steps and gravel surface. Down at the bottom is a beach.
Caption: Half way through the walk
Caption: Viewing point
Caption: See the white big stone, the second one is the destination.
Here is a cute couple strolling along, water down here is rough but white sand, no swimming guards to save any soul so people tend to stick closer to the shore.
Caption: Haha, more tourists!
While back on that winding land, the area leads you to mini attractions hidden away along smaller areas. The next big town after Coromandel is Whitianga township, much bigger than Coromandel. We were not interested in hot water beaches but one can visit and try to dig their way through the sand for something warm. We found the peace and quiet we need in this little area filled with nature and the ocean. The drive that make us dizzy physically but also amazed at what we saw.
Nature got us!
- Northland New Zealand, places I’ve been: Bay of Islands
- Northland New Zealand drive, places I’ve been: Cape Reinga (Te wahi tutakitaki)
- Vạn Chài – Thanh Hóa in April
- Off season, off the heat & stay cool
- Con Dao – the Six Senses
How does this post make you feel?