Coromandel, you saucy minx

Moving on from Rotorua early, we headed up to Thames for a spot of lunch - stopping only to take the obligatory giant L&P bottle photo with mum (Kiwi’s will know).

We had been forewarned that our accommodation was a little remote so we need to stock up on supplies. We were booked in for five nights so between myself and my brother in law we settle on a modest four dozen for the duration (Sister is pregnant and mum doesn’t drink beer so no problems there). I think we also purchased some food.

Disclaimer: This post is a little photo heavy because, well the Coromandel is a pretty wee vixen.

Setting out from Coromandel township we pointed ourselves inland to cross the peninsular - a quick backtrack to retrieve my mum’s phone, mistakenly abandoned at roadside fruit stand a few kilometres back, we were on the road again.

The road quickly deteriorated, going from a decent state highway, to a narrow country road, to a harrowing dirt road, to a track a goat would think twice before attempting. That said it didn’t deter some overly ambitious or misinformed camper-van drivers hoping to make the most of the long weekend.

I have included a map of the journey just to highlight just how remote our lodgings were, the map doesn’t do it justice but drive was pretty exciting - for me anyways, mum kept a brave face throughout though.

The view from the highest point of the journeyWe stopped at the top of the ranges to take in the sweeping views both east and west. Also a quick investigation of my car to check that it was holding up to the punishment (the starter issues not withstanding) - all system fine, we continued on. Finally appearing on the east side of the peninsular we realised just how remote this place was, the only shop of any description was forty minutes behind us in Coromandel.

Our accommodation is situated high up in the hills in Tuateawa nestled amongst the native bush, despite the signs warning of Kiwi’s in the area we didn’t encounter any. We did however see a number of Tui and Kererū up at the house and the protected New Zealand Dotterels and Oystercatchers on our morning walks down on the beach.

Waikawau beach, more like Waika-wow Waikawau beach really left an impression on me - more like Waikaw-wow! It was located five minutes drive from our accommodation and is the sort of beach that only seems to exist in New Zealand. The sort you would expect to see on an Air New Zealand safety video.

Stunningly beautiful, but still rugged and slightly inhospitable, likely in the same pristine state as when Captain Cook first set eyes on the place. Golden sand and sun as stretching into the distance but not a single other soul in sight. A little more exposed as the aptly named ‘Little bay’ just around the corner which was better suited regular beach relaxing activities.

My wheels Its easy to forget that places like this exist. Places that you can walk for kilometres and not see a scrap of rubbish or anything unnatural at all for that matter (except for a DOC sign warning us about Dotterels nesting). A landscape seemingly unscathed by human colonisation and the burden it places on its surrounding environment.

It highlights the importance of New Zealand’s protected regions and the role the Department of Conservation plays in things.