Road Warriors

The following morning we woke up to the sound of rain outside. Originally, we had plans to kayak, but instead we opted for a warm Cappuccino. We walked down the street to El Cafe, a little South American inspired cafe, to have breakfast and take advantage of the free and fast wifi. We were pleasantly surprised by the delicious coffee and breakfast.

image(I was too hungry to wait to eat before taking the picture)

Fueled up, we set out on our long day of driving to the Coromandel Peninsula via the opposite side of the island, as we wanted to check out the west coast and take a different route from how we traveled to the Bay of Islands.

Our first stop was a small waterfall called Haruru Falls, which is worth a look or a kayak under if you have time.


Our next stop was a gorgeous lookout just past Opononi. There were a few 10-20 minute walks that took you out on the bluff for a beautiful view of the coast line, a giant sand peninsula, the bay, and the ocean (even on the rainy day)


The remainder of the road on the west coast (SH 12) took us through the Kauri Forest, which is a quite different, yet beautiful, landscape from the grasslands of SH 1 on the east coast and the middle part of the Northland.

Needing a bit of a break from the long drive, we stopped near Dargaville at a cafe called Ellecee, which has great food and was a seemingly good find in a string of small towns with very few good food options. Afterward, the road took us back through the Southern outskirts of Auckland and gave us a second look at the beautiful skyline.


We drove the rest of the way up the beautiful Coromandel Peninsula to our campground, a Top 10 Campground across from Hot Water Beach. We had a queen cabin, which is a small separate cabin with a bed, table, refrigerator, and heater. The campground had great facilities…a full kitchen with cutlery and utensils, very clean bathrooms and showers, a playground for kids, BBQ’s, a Fish and Chips shop, a store, and is within walking distance of Hot Water Beach. We were quite happy with our little cabin and the price was just a bit more than your own room at a hostel.



(As you can see, Tris could not have been happier)

After checking in, it was quite late, and we were starving, so we drove to Hahei and found the Pour House (the only place open that late).


The beer, brewed by the owners, and the food (mussels and fish and chips) were both amazing.



I highly recommend a stop here!


1 Comment

  1. Pingback: New Zealand: North & South Island Itineraries | Fit To Wander

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