Day 14 - Wistful in Whangamata


Day 1 - Arrival
Day 2 - Raglan to Urenui
Day 3 - The Long Road to Levin
Day 4 - A Day with Granny
Day 5 - A Wellington Wander
Day 6 - The Tour to Taupo
Day 7 - Rolling to Rotarua
Day 8 - The Redolence of Rotorua
Day 9 - The Beach at Bowentown
Day 10 - Outtrip to Ohope
Day 11 - Meander over McLaren Falls
Day 12 - Mission to Mt. Manganui
Day 13 - Shopping the Strand
Day 14 - Wistful in Whangamata
Day 15 - Cruising to Coromandel
Day 16 - On the Road to Orere Point
Day 17 - Departure

Friday, March 29

Our visit in Tauranga was finally at an end, and the sense that our trip was almost over was overwhelming. Everyone was a bit teary saying goodbye, but the time had come and we packed up the camper for the final leg of our trip.

We still had three more days until the flight home, enough time to tour up the Coromandel Peninsula and back to Auckland for the trip home. To make the situation more challenging, the coming weekend was a long one in New Zealand, lots of people would be heading to the resort sites and RV parks to catch one last nice weekend before winter really set in. Stacy had wanted to check out Hot Water Beach, but a quick call up there showed it totally booked for the weekend - and we couldn't wait around for them to clear out.

With the camper, we could make do even on the side of the road, so we decided to take a chance and just see where our noses led us.

Caitlin shows off her new belt made by Auntie Jeanette. Looking back at the farm house on our way out on the open road...

A few short hours later we were into the Coromandel Peninsula and reached the first decent sized down - Whangamata. Richard and Stacy had stopped here briefly the previous year, this time the weather was great and the beach busy, so it was time for a stop and visit.

Entering the Coromandel means heading onto small roads in deep jungle. The girls head down to the beach in Whangamata.
Stacy checks out the blue skies and easy surf. The beach is well protected. Caitlin likes the spot - "let's go swimming again!"
Alex agrees. Please Mummy!
Please! The girls, wet from even more swimming.

The beach visit was so pleasant, we checked out the info center and found an RV camp right in Whangamata - that even had some sites left. So, without any significant planning, we'd found our first site in the Coromandel, albeit right at the beginning.

Caitlin chills out after a long day of riding in the camper, walking on the beach, swimming... life's rough when you're six. While perhaps not the most elegant of poses, the sentiment is well said - bed time!

Our short bit of driving today meant we'd have to make serious progress tomorrow - all the way to the northern end of the peninsula  and its namesake, the town of Coromandel.