Coromandel – Paradise in Northern New Zealand
The first day on the road
On the outskirts of Auckland we stood bag and baggage on the road. Our goal was easy to see on our sign, we wanted to go to Coromandel, a peninsula in the north of New Zealand.
Just before you face your first hitchhiking experience it makes you thinking about so many things. Actually you don´t sleep the previous night and you think of all possible scenarios. But on the day it is stunningly, if the helpfulness and friendliness of New Zealanders hits your face directly. Then you get a „coffee for free“ or a lady brings you out of the town and didn´t want to go in your direction originally. Then you feel the euphoria rising in you and you realize – you’re infected by the hitchhiking fever.
„Even the smallest person can change
the course of the future.“
– Galadriel –
Every skeptic could say rightly that these were exceptions and we were lucky. But if this happens with every ride on your first hitchhiking day and the last one invites you to set up your tent in his garden, then this cannot be a coincidence. Then you know that the New Zealanders are an incredibly nice folk.
The small young family that gave us shelter for the first night consisted of Alexie, Soria and their son Dominik. Three self supporters that don’t have only their own bees with incredibly delicious honey, but almost everything they need to live grows in their garden. Funny it was again just before we crawled into our tent. We could retaliate for the hospitality with rehousing the chicken coop. So we hunted a wild horde of chickens through their enclosure to place them in a new home. Sounds easier than it is by far. ;)
On next morning we headed the last kilometers up to Coromandel Town, we wanted to relax for a few days and enjoy the incredible beauty of this peninsula. After we said goodbye to the family, we faced back to the street and were collected by the Farmer Toni without waiting. How could it be otherwise, Toni had naturally a campsite just outside Coromandel Town as a destination and organized a place for our tent. At the latest of this trip we knew why Frodo loves his Shire.
As we didn´t see a little chance to refuse the invitation for dinner, we sat with Robyn, Sandra, Toni and Kevin together with good wine and a huge portion of fresh fish and chips in the evening. We rarely spent such a fun night. Especially on our desire to shear a sheep once in a lifetime, the four could only laugh heartily. Should we make our way back to New Zealand, then we will visit Sandra and Kevin and they will introduce us to the art of sheep shearing. :)
Itchy Feet Insider: Before you continue your journey towards Cathedral’s Cove, you need a bagel or a quiche in „The Chai Tea House“.
Since we did not want to get into the threatening rain, we asked ourselves on the road and made the distance to Hahai without getting wet. Here we spent another night and went in bright sunshine to Cathedral Cove the next morning. Unfortunately this natural rock arch is so crowded that you should go there very early or accept the crowds and enjoy a few hours on the beach.
Less crowded and really comfortable we felt in the sleepy town Pauanui Beach. The white beach is deserted and in the center there was a small unassuming restaurant which amazed us.
Itchy Feet Insider: Aside from the very delicious and partly really fancy mains you have to try the chocolate tarte in „The Lime Room“ – Yummy! ;)
After a total of 4 days on the Coromandel Peninsula, we left our campsite in the morning and made our way towards Matamata. Here it should come to a situation that became Andi’s favorite story and he told it 100 times in the course of our further journey. But more on that later…
Salute from here and now,
Tina and Andi from Itchy Feet