This morning would be for visiting Coromandel, specially, Hot
Water Beach and Cathedral Cove, which needs to do a treck to be
reached. With spare time, we could add some of the short tracks in the
area, listed on this
We must end this day in a Holyday Park of Tauranga
as we need to be there early the next day.
This day route would be 200 Km long we should
cover in 2 hours 45 minutes.
Expenses for this day are:
Hobitton tour: 66 NZD
We’re awake very early, around 4 AM. I always want
to sleep more than 8 hours, but my body is at its own here.
We spend time inside the motorhomes as it’s chilly outside, then the
breakfast is prepared in one of them where we all meet. We all could
hear the rain at night.
Around 7 AM we’re ready to
resume yesterday’s way and when we do it we can check vegetation
around, hidden by the night yesterday, is magnificent. Out of the
forest, the farms appear and the hobbits Shire, which capital we’re
going to visit this afternoon, is out there.
Landscapes are showing lots of sheep around populating the perfect
greener hills until we reach the coast road, up to Coromandel
peninsula, where the forest is hiding the sea views the most of the
time. We stop at Twin Kauri as we were crazy about enjoying the
beautiful nature we were seeing while driving. Kauri is a big new
Zealand tree which wood is such good as per being used in the way now
there are just a few of them, numbered, around the country.
Then we follow the coast motorway (25) until our yesterday’s
destination: Hot Water Beach. This beach is special because a flow of
hot water is under it and, at low tide, people can build their own hot
water pool by digging a hole in the sand.
beautiful and, as we’re short of time, instead of digging we parasitize
the work of someone else. A nice German boy let us try in his hole and
even offer him for making group pictures.
place is amazing. This water burns and I would say you even need to put
some fresh water on your hole to be ok.
is in Hahei, where the car park for the Cathedral Cove track is
located. The stunning views of the coast from the parking itself avoid
us to go directly to the track. A sign marks 45 minutes walking to
We follow the walk way between
silver ferns until we meet a junction to some place called “Stingray
Bay”. As is marked as 5 minutes we take this way. The sign is saying
too still 30 minutes to our final goal.
gets difficult at the end, but we still manage to reach the lonely
beach with colors, for the rocks and the water, we’ve never seen before.
When some of us get into the water find out the reason of the name:
Stingray Bay, as the shore is full of these fishes. They’re
surprisingly swimming in such a low - but incredibly transparent -
waters, as people inside are barely
getting their ankles wet.
We don’t want to leave
from such wonderful place, but when a French couple arrives, we let
them enjoy here as we’ve just done, after some group pictures.
We go back to the long walk and go on through it
between wonderful forest and even more wonderful sea views until a
stairs drive us steeply to the sand of the beach where we stand
open-mouthed for a while.
On this paradise, we meet two women from Granada
who tell us they’re ending their travel around New Zealand and explain
how they didn’t like the massive and stressing activity of whale
watching in Kaikoura, as our plan for tomorrow looks that good that
they will join if don’t leaving already.
At the time of return back to our motorhomes, we
walk the marked 45 minutes in a lot less than that and we take the road
with the only goal of reaching Hobbiton. Well, there is another goal,
and it is an urgent one: I’ve lost the debit card delivered to us by
the bank yesterday, just a few hours later, and we need to get another
one to going on with our plans.
As banks close at 14:30h here, we stop in a city
called Whitianga to the procedure. Before going into the bank a police
officer comes to us to explain they’ve received complaints from drivers
about us: we’re going too close one motorhome to the other and too slow
and cars cannot pass us and must keep our speed behind us. The request
is to spread the three vehicles in a way of cars can taking over us one
by one. Now we understand the attitude of some drivers in our way:
beeping, one hitting my campervan, one following us to insult and
rebuke us over some kilometers,… Not bad for being one day in this
Time flies and seems obvious we’re not going to
reach Matamata on time to join the last tour to Hobbiton, so I call
them while driving to there looking for chances and end hiring a
private tour just for a little more money: 604$ for all the eight of us.
We’re some minutes to 17:00h when we arrive and we
still haven’t lunch since our toasts in our early breakfast, but our
bodies are not really asking for more. Thanks to that we can go
directly to the tour with an old man, which is going to be our guide.
As it is a private tour we have no time limit, the visit will take as
long as we want. Or sun want, better said.
Man must stop the van, go out for opening the
fence door, come back to the van to drive over the fence and go out
again to closing the door three times over the farm before reaching the
The details of these Hobbit Holes make them
magnificent and the set is really a whole city, a lot bigger than I
expected. There is only one hole where is allowed to go in, but our
guide let us do it on another one too, and even going beyond the fence
of Bag End, Bilbo house, to pose for pictures with it. The only pity is
white plastics have been set over the place to protect them to the
frost in the forecast for tonight.
We pose too with the Sam bachelor house and Sam
married house, recalling the image the trilogy ends with.
Finally it is indeed the sun that makes us leave
the place and we end the day driving to Tauranga at dark. After some
losing while looking for the Park, we end in Mount Manganui Beachside Holiday
Park, just below the mount itself and in front of the beach. This city
seems a touristic place, but we cannot find any restaurant or place
opened and come back to the big kitchens of the park to make some