10th Jan – Some New Zealand travels

I have done a little travelling in the campervan.

On the road to Leigh

I went down to Angies beach first to return a couple of charts of NZ to Ted who had lent me them back in Tonga. On to Auckland mainly to get the bottom bracket replaced on the bike as there had been a recall for a batch of faulty ones. It was grey and rainy there and it continued for my visit to Waitakere Range. I had been looking forward to some walks here but the storm that hit NZ at this time put paid to that. There were roads flooded and closed and pretty bad conditions. I just hunkered down and had to wait for it to pass. By then I was down in Thames, once a gold rush town, in the Coromandel.

Old shop in Thames

I went up the lovely Kauaeranga valley.

The Kauaeranga valley

The area was extensively logged for Kauri trees, there are few of these left but now it is a conservation area and native forest is re-establishing itself.

What the Kiwis call a swing bridge over the river

Here I walked up the Pinnacles (759m), described as challenging in the book but there are steps, iron ladders & rungs to help progress. Mind you returning to the valley I did feel a little weary after about 7 hours on the go.

Towards summit of the Pinnacles
View over Coromandel from the Pinnacles

The old gold mining area of the Karangahake gorge was next with some more gentle meanderings along walkways cut into the gorge sides and exploring some of the old mine tunnels.

Karangahke gorge & walkways

After that a beach visit seemed in order – At Waihi the 9 km long beach backed by dunes is pretty idyllic and uncrowded.

The 9km long Waihi beach

Further south by Tauranga, Mt Maungani beach was very popular and heaving with holiday makers, but a walk up the mountain gave fine views over the harbour and coast.

Mt Maungani beach

I passed through Te Puke, which if you didn’t know is the Kiwi fruit capital of the world, to Rotorua, renowned for its thermal activity. I will go back later to see its famous geysers.

Steaming lake Rotorua. You can feel the heat rising from the water