Ok so I wasn’t that big of a fan of Hamilton. The nice lady I couch surfed with lived outside the city thank goodness, but I had a bit of a (slight) panic attack driving in the city of Hamilton which only has about 100,000 people so I decided to cancel my trip to Auckland. Sorry guys. There’s no way I was going to be able to drive there. Y’all know I have issues driving in bigger cities than my hometown or even this one, haha. During the dinner I cooked (to thank her for letting me stay), we discussed where I could possibly go next. Anita mentioned the Coromandel Peninsula. Bit of a drive, but doable. Boy am I glad I went with her advice. The views of the coast were gorgeous even though the drive was difficult. It’s got it own set of parapara-like roads. I was in Coromandel (the town at the north of the pen) by noon for coffee and New Chums Beach not long after.
Any tourist guide nowadays will tell you that New Chums Beach is still a bit of uncharted territory. It’s true. You can only go during low tide because that’s the only possible way to cross the rocky stream and make the trek to the beach. I went and ended up near the end of that window. My mistake. Don’t make the same. I got knocked over and lost my phone in the water. Well, not lost, but it took a swim with me o.O Luckily my phone automatically uploads to my computer…
Well that sucked. I made it to Whitianga by 4-ish though and had enough time to book a last minute room at the Cat’s Pyjamas (cute little hostel) and buy a new phone (crap little google phone). Looks like I’d be doing the rest of my road trip like I did with the beginning of it – no GPS. Thank goodness I bought a road map book.
I headed out fairly early the next morning for Cathedral Cove. Now they’re tell you that low tide is at a certain time and there’s no way you’d be able to see the cove at any other time. Wrong. Go when you want. I did. It was a 3 hour trek from car park to cove and back… but I also stopped at Gemstone Bay and Stingray Bay. Completely worth it, but wear proper shoes and bring plenty of water. The views are gorgeous and I’m so glad I changed my plans. I ended up in just my yoga pants and tank top since it got so warm and took a bit of a swim. There weren’t many people there either. Even got a bit of a tan, haha.
After that trek, I took a quick drive over to Hot Water Beach. Everyone told me that it’s always full of people. Not from where I was standing, haha. I spent a bit of time there just enjoying the water and quiet.
As I left Hahei, I made another decision… I didn’t really want to go to Tauranga. I drove through it, but headed towards Rotorua to stay for a few days and meet a friend and her daughter for her birthday. Gotta say, I love Rotorua 🙂