The trip to Coromandel and back was a long and very, very, very winding road. It’s not all that far in kilometers, but hours of curves.
We knew it would be a long day of driving (for me), but I was determined to finally see it!
Our first stop was to see the operating open pit gold mine in Waihi. It was quite interesting. My sister thought the trucks looked like Tonka Toy Trucks.
Next stop was for a Karangahake Gorge Walk through an old railway and gold mining plant. We only crossed a couple of swing bridges, but didn’t go very far up the path past the old battery buildings, because we were on a schedule!
We got back in the car and headed towards Thames and then Coromandel. The road is amazing! So narrow and curvy – it was scary sometimes! Especially when the trucks were coming the other way! But we lived to write about it. The road was too narrow to stop for photos though!
I did manage to stop for a photo once we left the coast and headed over the mountains towards Coromandel.
And some more at Ohana Farms Lookout.
We stopped for lunch at The Mussel Kitchen, which had been recommended to us by Jan and Gerald. It was a great suggestion! My sister and I both had a mussel pot each, and they were full of mussels! Nothing like the half dozen I had in Akaroa, that was supposed to be a pot of mussels! I could barely finish mine, and my sister couldn’t finish hers. It was a delicious lunch, and only $17 each!
We stopped for a little photo-opp at Coromandel Wharf, just so I had some photos of Coromandel.
Then we headed off to the other side of the peninsula. I stopped for a photo at a lookout just past Coromandel, called Maungataururu Lookout. You could see all the islands in the bay near Coromandel. Very nice.
We had a quick stop in Kuaotunu for some photos of the pretty bay there. My sister went looking for dinner, but didn’t find any.
And another stop at Whitianga, because I couldn’t resist the prettiness here either.
Our next stop was at Hot Water Beach. This is one of the only places in the world that the water is heated and pushed to the surface of the beach. People build themselves little baths and let in some hot and some cold water to get the right temperature. My sister and I only dipped our feet in. We didn’t feel like getting all sandy, and anyway, we had to be back in a couple of hours!
We stopped at Whangamata for coffee, fuel and a newspaper for our hosts back in Mt Maunganui and then drove back in time for a really good dinner at a Mediterranean restaurant in Mt Maunganui. The meal was really good, though you’d think I didn’t enjoy mine because I only ate about a third of it, while everyone else finished theirs. I don’t know why either. It’s not like me at all!
Then it was back to Jan & Gerald’s for some more great conversation and Android training. It’s so nice that Jan loves her phone and is interested in learning how to use it beyond making phone calls.
Reworked and larger sized pictures from this day are here. Click on the first picture and then move through them at full screen size.