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Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Shhhh...quiet about Coromandel Peninsula and the Bay of Plenty

Cathedral Cove, east coast Coromandel Peninsula
OK, promise everyone that you won't tell anyone about how scenic the Coromandel peninsula of the north island is. OK, thanks for promising that!

Now we picked up our little rental car from Europcar in DT Auckland and headed out of town. About 1 1/2 hrs later we just passed through Thames, the western entry point to the Coromandel peninsula and decided to have lunch.
Holden Barina Hatch -pretty good!

It seems anywhere in New Zealand you can make a simple left turn and you will find a picnic spot in front of you, it's just that easy. So we stopped for an early lunch and an update to my GPS mapping as I had forgotten do download my latest way-points to it.

Ready to go again we headed clockwise around the peninsula. Since you drive on the left side this positions you closest to the waters edge, and no where on the peninsula will you find a guard rail blocking your view on these super narrow roads, absolutely no where!
Gorgeous Scenery

With no obstructed view and plenty of scenery plan to stop frequently for panoramic view after view. And the roads are so scenic and twisty I wished I had the bike again too!

Just outside Coromandel which is a little old western town right out of Arizona it seemed there was a cafe called "The Mussel Station". You see Coromandel is also renowned for it's green lipped mussels. So we stopped and ordered a pot of mussels to share. They were excellent and the leftover broth we took in a container to use on pasta for supper. It was delicious, both times.
New Zealand Green Lip Mussels

Back on the road we finally ended up at Cathedral Cove, a very pretty location.

Later on the walk back out which we took with to young female doctors just relocated to Auckland from Britain they commented about "Record breaking time". They were referring to our pace of walking. We did the 45 min uphill grind in 30 mins. and they couldn't believe we had walked both directions that way, but we had a mission in mind. We wanted to camp at Hot Water Beach another 8 kms away,
Dig your Own Hot Water pool Thermals at Low Tide

and catch the phenomena there of the thermal springs filling hand dug 'pools' for 2 hrs either side of low tide. So we made to the Top 10 Holiday park, pitched our tent and headed to the beach just as the 2hr.  window was closing.

After sleeping in hotels a lot so far, the night of camping was great, and boy did we sleep.!

Today we continued on toward Rotorua on the east coast. KatiKati being one beautiful little town on our radar because it does murals like Chemanius.

When we walked the town centre we talked with one of the folks at the Visitor centre who told us that the murals idea was a direct copy of the Chemanius idea and they certainly have done them up right.

Then we noticed one of the bakery's in town was called Angor Wat Bakery and Cafe. So we stopped in and asked how they came by the name and it was the temple not far from where they originally lived. We told them we had visited there in 2013 and stayed in Siem Reap, their hometown. Then, noticing the mural clipping of a 2015 award for their meat Pies, we decided to order two of them. We just finished our supper and they are probably the best meat pies we have ever had!

Angor Wat Bakery Award Winners, NZ

Next Rotorua!

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