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Coromandel Coastal Walk and Cape Reinga

rain 22 °C
View Adventures of a lifetime on jillandloic's travel map.

On Tuesday we drove all the way to the northernmost town of the Coromandel Peninsula, Colville, and decided our campervan could not handle the steep, gravel road that would take us to the coastal walk (that, and our rental agreement said we couldn't). Knowing that there is a shuttle service that drops you off in one bay and picks you up in another, and that we just missed said shuttle (because we were following it), we knew our only chance of doing this beautiful hike was to find a local with nothing to do but drive us around there. That local, was Charlie, a Maori musician, who was sitting outside the coffee shop, the only business in town. Charlie drove us the hairy 45 minutes to Fletcher Bay, on a steep, one lane, gravel road, and agreed to meet us 3 hours later at Stony Bay, giving us plenty of time for the coastal walk. This walk was the most beautiful hike I had ever done! We started off in green fields, up close and personal with the sheep and cows, followed by steep ups and downs through lush jungle, watching the dramatic coastline the whole way. We arrived at Stony Bay an hour early and began walking the gravel road back to town, when we were faithfully picked up by Charlie. After thank yous and goodbyes, we retravelled the windy road off the peninsula, and camped at a holiday park in the town of Miranda, which had an awesome, hot mineral pool! This is when the rain started, and would continue, for 3 days.
Mardi 7 mars, nous quittons Hot Water Beach pour la pointe nord de la peninsule de Coromandel. A Colville, la route se transforme en route gravillonnee. Nous decidons que le campervan (et le contrat de location) ne subira pas l'heure et demie de conduite sur cette route sinueuse. En outre, nous savons qu'une navette permet de se faire deposer et embarquer a chaque bout de la marche que nous envisageons: Le chemin de cote du Nord-Coromandel (3 ou 4h de marche). Pas de peau, nous avons fait la route derriere la navette, donc pas possible de se faire embarquer. Nous nous parquons au dernier bar du coin, et demandons si un local veut bien nous servir de chauffeur pour l'apres midi, contre dedommagement. L'heureux chanceux s'appelle Charlie, un musicien Maori qui habite le coin et avait rien de prevu cet apres midi :) Charlie nous conduit au nord Ouest de la peninsule, a Fletcher Bay, ou nous lui faisons decouvrir un super spot de camping. Il n'etais jamais venu si au Nord (45 minute de route gravier sinueuse a plein tube). On se donne rendez vous a l'autre bout, Stony Bay, (il ne connaissait pas non plus :) ) dans 3 heures. Et hop, nous partons pour notre marche au bout du monde. La vue est incroyable. En bout de peninsule, a travers les champs, sur un chemin cotier, on se sent vraiment au bout du monde. Nous arrivons a Stony Bay avec 1 heure d'avance, et continuons un peu sur la route, jusqu'a croiser Charlie. Apres remerciements et adieux, nous reprenons la route vers le Sud , et sortons de la peninsule. Nous dormons au camping de Miranda, au creux a l'Ouest de la peninsule de Coromandel, et proditons de la source thermale chaude ! La pluie debutera en fin de soiree, et ne s'arretera pas pour les 3 prochains jours. La Peninsule de Coromandel sera interdite a la circulation due aux glissements de terrain. On est chanceux. :)

Loic near Fletcher Bay

Loic near Fletcher Bay


Fletcher Bay, the start of the coastal walk

Fletcher Bay, the start of the coastal walk


Coastal walk

Coastal walk


coastal walk (2)

coastal walk (2)


Amazing coastline

Amazing coastline


The second half of the walk was through jungle

The second half of the walk was through jungle


Stony Bay, the end of the coastal walk

Stony Bay, the end of the coastal walk

Wednesday was a rainy driving day, through Auckland, and up to the town of Whangarei, where we freedom camped in town outside of an aquatic center. Our only stop that day was in the town of Kawakawa, to visit the artistic public bathrooms which were designed by an Austrain-born eco-artist, who once lived there. Very unique!
Mercredi nous profitons du temps pluvieux pour faire la route vers le Nord du nord. Traversons Auckland, la baie Bay of Islands, et arrivons a Whangarei, ou nous dormons dans un spot gratuit pour la nuit. Sur la route nous visiterons les toilettes publiques celebres pour leur design. Interessant :)

Famous beautiful toilets

Famous beautiful toilets

On Thursday, we woke to yet more rain. Not wanting to waste the day, we drove all the way to the tip of the north island, Cape Reinga, a sacred place for the Maori people. Though it rained all day and the wind was crazy strong, we managed to find a half hour when it wasn't raining to walk out to the lighthouse, and see where the Pacific Ocean meets the Tasman sea. Watch the video below to see how the waves crash from opposite directions! We droved back down to the town of Ahipara to enjoy the luxory of electricy, internet and showers.
Le jeudi, il pleut toujours. Nous poussons vers la pointe nord, et faisons un tour au cap Reinga. Lieu sacre pour les Maori, c'est le lieu ou l'Ocean Pacfifique et la mer de Tasmanie entrent en collision. Micro-climat, ou coup de peau majeur, il s'arretera de pleuvoir pour notre visite de 30 minute au cap. Regardez la video, les deux etendues de mer rentrent _reellement_ en collision. C'est incroyable. Bref, nosu redescendons a l'Ouest, au bout de 90-mile Beach, pour le confort d'un camping, electricite, internet et douche chaude.

Cape Reinga

Cape Reinga


Cape Reinga lighthouse

Cape Reinga lighthouse


The Tasman Sea meeting the Pacific Ocean

The Tasman Sea meeting the Pacific Ocean

Friday morning we woke to more rain. We decided to make it a rest day since there isn't much to be done in this weather in this area, and enjoyed the ping pong table at the holiday park, books, and movies. Loic also updated and sent off his CV, a sure sign that normal life is on the horizon!
Le vendredi, c'est toujours temps pourri :) Il pleut encore, et nous profitons de la journee pour nous reposer, et vider notre liste de tache administrative. Le retour est en vue, nous partons a la chasse aux boulots.

Lots of flooding after 4 days of rain

Lots of flooding after 4 days of rain

Posted by jillandloic 16:28 Archived in New Zealand

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Comments

This really brings back memories. When we sailed in from Australia we stayed about 5 miles north of Cape Reinga to avoid the scary waves you showed. Plus we spent many days anchoring in some of the bays you walked along on your coastal walk. You guys have definitely made the most of your Enzed trip.

Rick

by rberg

We saw a lot, but there's always so much more! Would love to live there some day.

by jillandloic

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