Cathedrals of Stone

There are going to be a lot of blogs for the Fly Fam trip! I thought I could condense some of our adventures, but it’s too difficult to pare down photos when everywhere was so beautiful. Ah, the daily struggle of life in NZ.

Anyway, where were we? After doing the great Shakespeare Cliff walk and grabbing a bite to eat, we headed toward Cathedral Cove. The first time around, the (very small) carpark was full, so after a couple unsuccessful circles, we decided to check out nearby Hahei Beach.


What a spot! I had missed it on my first trip to Cathedral Cove, so I’m glad we stopped for a wander this time.



Good thing we had plenty of sunscreen and managed to find a bit of shade.



The rocks all along this coast are incredible.




We decided to give Cathedral Cove another go, and this time we were just in time for a spot! From there, it’s about a 30-minute walk down to the beach, which was fairly busy on such a sunny day. Nothing can detract from such natural beauty, though.




Good thing Andy was around to keep this massive rock formation from toppling over…


It’s not surprising that they used this spot as a filming location for The Chronicles of Narnia. Pretty otherworldly, I’d say!




Love that one.


Back under the archway, we headed to the other end of the beach. The cove itself isn’t huge, as the rocky shoreline stops you from going beyond a certain point.


We discovered a cave, which we had all to ourselves, aside from a massive colony of crabs.


Watch out for the two-headed, long-armed, four-legged cave monster!


The hike back up to the car was pretty hot, so our thoughts quickly turned to cooling off at a winery. Luckily, the quirky Purangi Winery wasn’t far off.


It also had a pizza kitchen, which we took advantage of before doing a tasting.



Yum. Time for wine sampling!


None of us had been to a winery quite like this before.



The guy running the tasting was a bit of a comedian. His best joke? “I went to a zoo, and all they had was a dog. It was a shitzu.” We all cracked up, which was I’m sure his desired reaction.

Jokes aside, the wine and liqueurs were really good, and you could try as many as you wanted for just a gold coin donation. They had everything from pinot noir to port to cherimoya & loquat liqueur. If you don’t know what a cherimoya or loquat is, you’re not alone. I didn’t know either until I came to NZ, in addition to the ever popular feijoa. Yup, there was feijoa liqueur too. Most definitely a quintessentially Kiwi winery!


Our next stop at Mercury Bay Estate was a tad more traditional.


Not pictured, adorable yellow lab who got lots of attention.

Since we didn’t want Andy to feel left out, we stopped in at Hot Water Brewing Co to round off our afternoon.


This brewery is also at a campground – pretty much my idea of heaven! You can go for all the beer you want, then just retire next door in a cabin or tent. I bet more than a few people stay overnight when they’ve had too much to drink.


We did a sampler, then brought a few home for later. We still have a couple of the stronger ones in the cabinet.


Hipsters everywhere would love this spot. Plus, the beer is really good!

Back at our bach in Whitianga, we ordered Indian for dinner and enjoyed it out on the patio. Afterwards, in preparation for our trip to Hobbiton the next day (my birthday!), we watched the first Lord of the Rings film for the umpteenth time. Stay tuned!!

1 thought on “Cathedrals of Stone

  1. What a bunch of great shots. That beach! That cove! Aaaaaaah. (And that weird monster parent pic – oh, yeah.)
    Good recap of those wineries, too. So glad you remembered that lame, but oddly funny joke.


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