Falls, Trees and the Sea

After our first amazing night on the Coromandel, my parents, Andy and I had a nice breakfast at our quirky bach and made plans for the day. We decided to head for Waiau Falls down the old, unpaved 309 Road, which cuts across the Coromandel. I’d stopped there a couple years ago, and I knew we’d all enjoy it.

20170227-KRF_2404

We were the only ones there when we first arrived, so it was a great time to get up close to the falls for pictures.

20170227-KRF_2416

20170227-KRF_2421

I’d only been to the top of the falls the last time, so it was cool to explore further downstream.

20170227-KRF_2425

20170227-KRF_2426

We continued along the path hugging the river and came upon a wonderful, peaceful spot. It’d be great for a swim if the water wasn’t so chilly.

20170227-KRF_2428.jpg

20170227-KRF_2438

20170227-KRF_2431

20170227-KRF_2440

Although we could’ve easily spent all day exploring this area, we decided to head a bit further up the 309 Road to do a walk through an ancient kauri grove.

20170227-KRF_2441

20170227-KRF_2445

These towering giants never cease to amaze me. They’re few and far between in most parts of NZ, but due to protective measures and replanting, hopefully they will continue to reign over the forest for centuries to come. Many of the remaining ones are hundreds of years old.

Back at our car, we made a quick cafe stop before heading off the 309 and taking the winding (paved, thankfully) main road across the Coromandel to Whitianga, our next destination. On the way, we stopped off to take advantage of the sunshine and explore the seaside. We got very lucky with early autumn weather!

20170227-KRF_2446

20170227-KRF_2447

20170227-KRF_2450

20170227-KRF_2451

Really, who can beat a beach like this?

20170227-KRF_2454

20170227-KRF_2458

Not much further along the road, we came to the oceanside town of Whitianga. We’d booked a house for two nights, so we dropped off our stuff and then decided to go on another beach wander before dinner.

20170227-KRF_2461

So. Many. Shells!

20170227-KRF_2466

We had a great dinner at a restaurant by the estuary and even got to see some great constellations overhead on the walk back to our bach. No matter where you are in New Zealand, the stars are incredible, but especially so in smaller towns, or even better, in the middle of nowhere.

The next morning, we headed out to explore Mercury Bay. First up, a hike to the top of the Shakespeare Cliffs for an unbeatable view over Lonely Bay (in the foreground) and Cooks Beach (in the distance):

20170228-KRF_2469

Thanks to an American “comedian” and his wife, who were also at the lookout, we got a great group shot.

20170228-KRF_2474

On the way down the other side of the cliff walk, we followed the trail through a copse of trees. I love this spot!

20170228-KRF_2480

20170228-KRF_2484

More great views greeted us further along.

20170228-KRF_2488

As we got back to beach level, I spotted a tree that looked like a perfect perch. Maybe my climbing skills aren’t what they used to be…

20170228-KRF_2489.jpg

Thanks for capturing that, Andy. I look a bit like the creepy girl from The Ring.

20170228-KRF_2492

Ah, well. I recovered.

20170228-KRF_2495

The high tide stopped us from going any further along the beach, so we climbed up to the road. We saw signs for a cafe and headed in that direction. Not before my mom found another great photo op, though.

20170228-KRF_2499

Yet another quirky NZ cafe, this place had sculptures everywhere, interspersed with flowers and colorful decorations.

20170228-KRF_2503

20170228-KRF_2505

Plus, what cafe could be complete without a cute dog?!

20170228-KRF_2501

Poor thing was very curious but a little timid.

Join us next time as we adventure to Narnia and one of the most unique, eccentric wineries I’ve come across. Only in NZ can you cover both of those in one sentence!

1 thought on “Falls, Trees and the Sea

  1. Loving the chance to relive such a great trip. The only thing missing from this blog were the pigs — another very unique experience, driving down the road to find pigs wandering back and forth and just waiting for someone to stop and play with them. A waterfall, Kauri trees and pigs all on the same dirt road. Only in New Zealand.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this:
search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close