Sunday, March 31
Our last full day in New Zealand, and we're on the northern end of the Coromandel Peninsula. The weather had turned ugly - lots of people had left the campsite early. We still had a good amount of driving to do before we could get back, and we still needed to find a place to stay for our last night.
The drive out was relatively uneventful, except that the rains and tides were extremely high, to the point that some parts of the road looked to be at risk of flooding.
Our first stop of the day was Thames, an old gold rush town turned bedroom community about half way down the peninsula. Being Sunday, pretty well everything was closed, but we found a grocery for our dinner that night, and a cafe for some breakfast. Nothing fancy.
Graham and Jeanette had mentioned a huge rock shop along the road from Thames to Auckland (well, more or less), so we spent brunch pouring over the maps making sure we knew where to go. Then it was off to find it.
Heading back to the main road, we followed the coast up the other side of the Firth of Thames in an area known as the Sea Bird Coast. By the early afternoon we were hungry and stopped at a beach for a bite and look around. The weather wasn't too kind, but we were ready for anything (other than driving, of course).
The lunch break had also given us a chance to study the map and decide where we might stay the night... and up the coast at the point of the other side of the Firth of Thames is a place called Orere Point, and right there is an RV park. It took a bit of driving to find it, and getting in there wasn't easy (steep narrow road), but they had space for us and all the things our RV needed as well.
We had a nice visit with some of the long-weekenders that were camping around us. The vast majority of this RV park was filled with semi-permanent homes... mostly trailers that hadn't been moved in a few years, and had rooms added on and such. It seemed we were the only foreign vacationers around.
But our time was up too - we'd be heading home the next day.