Monday, 5 January 2015

Day tripping round the Coromandel

Some of you will know where and what the Coromandel is, but for you that don't I am going to show you.

New Zealand is made out of two islands, the North Island and the South Island, how simple is that.  I live in the North Island as you all know.

My little map shows you roughly where Hamilton is, and where Coromandel is on the East Coast, where TOF and I did a roadie to today.

Raglan is on the West Coast, to the left of Hamilton, a 40 minute drive at most, unless you get stuck behind some slow driver.

As for Coromandel, it is roughly about 1 1/2 to 2 hours depending on where you are heading. 

Our first destination was Thames, so 1 1/2 hours away.  Thames is an old coastal town, where my dads mother originated from.  It was a gold mining town back in the day, full of local history.

Thames has loads of gorgeous old original old homes, I rather like the two storied ones.  There was a huge Lilac tree growing in the garden of one, stunning tree and they are everywhere.

We drove up the Thames Coast as we were heading to Tararu, one of the many little bays along this coastal drive.  Houses are nestled into the hillside, with what has to be some of the best views ever.

Unfortunately the tide was out so not as pretty as normal but still pretty good in my eyes.  Turning right and heading in land we went to a Holiday Park where we visited a Butterfly and Orchid Garden.

The website described it as having 'an exotic garden, windy garden path, splashing waterfall.....'.  It was smaller than I expected but I loved it all the same.  So sit down for a minute or two and check out my photos.

 It was hot inside as the plants are all tropical.

 The big one in the centre had bright blue wings
but I couldn't get one to stay still long enough 
with it's wings open.

 One landed on my fluffy arm.

 Weird and wonderful looking plants.

 Colourful flowers.

 It was easy to do a couple of laps around the paths.

 I don't recall a waterfall
but TOF assured me there was one
albeit a small one.

 He deserted me as it was too hot.
But at least he took me to this place, good husband.

There was a pretty good collection of Butterflies flying around and the plants were lovely so I didn't mind parting with $12 to go in.  I have never been to a Butterfly Garden so I have nothing to compare it to, but if you are up the Thames Coast, call in.

We drove through the town past loads of old Hotels, some still being used as Pubs while others are not.  We bought some lunch and then found a picnic table under a huge Pohutukawa tree.  I had packed a thermos just like an old person would do and we enjoyed our picnic on the coast in the breeze.

We then drove back down to Kopu and headed over the hills to Tairua, the RED pin, on the Kopu Hikuai Road.  This is all in Native Forest so a very pretty scenic drive.

Up hills and down hills the road winds and eventually you are on the other side of the Coromandel Peninsula.

Finally we made it to Tairua, a super pretty golden sand beach place with the very Posh Paku Hill.  You need some serious money to have a place up that there hill!!

Dad took a photo of Paku Hill I would say about 50 years ago when there wasn't much if anything on it.  My photo today shows it dotted in houses and there is a Marina and wharf at the base.

 Paku Hill closer up.
The views from up there are spectacular!!

But at the base of the hill is this golden bay

Leaving Tairua we then headed south to Pauanui.  I haven't been there since I was really young and it is really built up these days.  You would also need a good income to have a place at this beach.

From Pauanui you can look back to Paku Hill in Tairua.  You can ever get a wee ferry boat over to Tairua.  Anyway another gorgeous sweeping golden sand cover beach.

TOF checked out the ripples waves while I was amazed at the small planes parked outside some folks holiday homes.  Imagine flying to your beach house?  This air strip is opposite the beach!!

If small planes aren't enough of an eye opener we then drove around the Waterways.  This is the true Rich Mans play ground.  All have a jetty and a nice boat moored at it.  The houses are simply amazing, and I say house because Bach or holiday home just doesn't cover it. All the cars parked in  the gated driveways were European, I haven't seen so many Audi's etc in one place that isn't a car sales yard!!

From Pauanui we drove to Whangamata, more my style any day, and price range, and just as beautiful, in fact I would have to say the MOST beautiful of the beaches.  Give me a tiny old authentic kiwi Bach any day when on holiday!!

We had a flying stop off at my sisters place of work where I purchased the coolest bracelet that you can change the dome part.  Made by a local lady and good value at $10 and $5 for 3 more domes.  I chose all beach ones, Pohutukawa, Clark Island and a Kinna. 

Over the hills to Waihi then onto Paeroa, but before getting to Paeroa I filmed my favourite part of the drive in the Karangahake Gorge

Hope you don't get motion sickness.

Through a bug splattered windscreen
while listening to
Miss Paloma Faith.

Well I do hope you enjoyed
the day trip out with
me and TOF!!


Poppy Q said...

What a lovely day out Sue - thanks for taking us on your tiki tour.

julie and Poppy Q

Sue W @ Living the Good Life said...

We'll do that trip one day but go right to the top. We did that run years back going in the opposite direction, it's the first time I've ever felt car sick!! ;)

Beth Waltz said...

Thanks, Sue (and Good Husband,too) for the orchids and butterflies, and the gorgeous sunny views. What a nice close-up of a dainty Venus flytrap: hello, baby Audrey!

Vix said...

Thanks for taking us on the road trip. New Zealand always looks so gorgeous. Those beaches!
Is is wrong to like that drab butterfly most? I feel a bit sorry for him!
Those bangles are fab and so's Paloma Faith, I've seen her three times! xxx

Raewyn said...

Awesome day out!!We often get as far as Thames/Waihi and don't get any further but we must make the effort/time one day!! Beautiful photos - great post!

Rose Bell said...

What a lovely day you had, the scenery was great. Your photography is brilliant. I think I need a lesson in our garden.
Lucky girl who's husband is caring and obedient to take you out for the day and a worthwhile day it was by the photo's. Better than being stuck at work in Hamilton.
p.s no lunch date this week all cafe's here are closed

Goody said...

How cool to have the before and after photos of the mountain.

Every year I attempt to attract butterflies to the garden, and every year they ignore my efforts! It would be difficult to tear myself away from that butterfly garden, heat or not.

Thank you for the fun tour.

Melanie said...

Your photos made me feel like I was there along for the ride. What incredible landscape. I always ask myself how much it would cost to live in a certain place, but, wow, just being in that geography is priceless. Thanks for this tour!

Leeanne said...

Thanks for taking me with you! They are swell places in this beautiful country we get to call home! Love the butterfly place, must go there sometime!

duchess_declutter said...

Nice road trip Sue. You live in a beautiful part of the world that's for sure. cheers Wendy

Angels have Red Hair said...

Yay ... thanks for taking me ... I was the one in the back saying "are we there yet?" ;0)

freckleface said...

I absolutely loved this trip out. Everywhere is so beautiful. I would like the two storey house with the lilac tree please! Xxx