We had aimed for an early start and watching-the-sunrise sort of a day but the beds at Tatahi Lodge were too good (or was it the late night talking???) so we ambled down to the beach at 10ish (twins were nearly climbing the walls waiting for us). Have you ever lost your breath with a beach so beautiful it is astounding? Well check out Hahei beach?
White sand, sun strengthening over rocky outcrops and islands, water blue enough to sell as a jewel, not another soul……
Ella and I walk hand in hand along the shore to the rope swing that comes out of an ancient old tree overhanging the sand. She swings, laughing like no ones watching and Finn climbs up the aforementioned tree and grins with pride.
Sadly the sun goes behind a rather large black cloud but this doesnt stop the kids going into the sea (sound familiar?) and swim to the amusement and delight of those now also on the beach. Another top ten beach!
We drove back across the peninsular on an unmade road known as “the 309 road” . Halfway across this road is a kauri grove, a forest of the rare and beautiful native tree. These are amazing trees that grow tall and strong but only in a few places on the north island. When the first settlers came to NZ in the 1800s they almost cleared the Coromandel of ese beautiful trees. They are tall, straight and strong, without the knots found in pine, so perfect for ships masts (among many things). This grove has a handful of huge, ancient trees, 600yrs old. 5 of us held hands around the tree and couldnt reach! There were also twin trees – joined at the base but growing 2 twin trunks. Obviously a photo opportunity!
After lunch we went up to Driving Creek where there is an incredible narrow guage railway, just 381mm, that winds up the mountainside, originally for the purpose of collecting china clay for the pottery at the foot of the mountain. It has a section where it reverses back to go up a steep bit, it has a double deck bridge, it has a “switchback” section where the driver changes ends and drives from the other end and eventually gets to the top where there is a tower, called the “Eye-Full tower”. Another view to take away the breath!
The twins are fed up with my love of views and I remember childhood holidays where we had to stop and look at views (much to my annoyance). When did I move from being a child to an adult? Maybe this is a sign…..
After stopping at a crazy water theme park and playing and laughing for an hour, we begin the journey home to H&Gs and stop again (groan groan from the back) for more view viewing. This really is a stunning land!