Saturday, February 13, 2010

From Auckland to the Coromandel and Tauranga

Saturday, February 13, 2010

whitianga BeachSadly we had to leave Whitianga. It was a place I could have spent a whole more time there. We ended up having dinner back to back in Dinos Pizza - mainly because we thoroughly enjoyed our first visit there. The food was superb and the sitting outside and enjoying the warmth of the evening sun - along with a very fine vino . . .

Anyhow - it was time to move on to Tauranga so we grabbed a bit of the sand from the beach and took the photo and then we were of.

waihi gold mineAlong the way we stopped in Waihi - which as you can see has an open cast gold mine - actually they get more silver then gold - but shhhhh who are we to dispel the myth. Anyhow would you believe THIS mine is bang in the middle of the local town and has to work with a great number of restrictions and consent issues. Eventually once mining is stopped this will be come a lake for recreation! Should take about three years to fill.
We took the guided tour which I hasten to add while informative was not as good as the guided tour you get with the Reefton Gold mine on the Westcoast of NZ. Anyhow by the time we got back to the car we discovered a flat tire. Seems on the last few meters into town we picked up a rather large nail that did some damage. Still the locals where very helpful and $20 and some 15 min later we had everything back in order and well all the luggage back in the car - and where of to see the local beach - which is supposed to be some sort of white special sand place.

dumpster truckOne of the large dumpster trucks. One of these wheels alone costs NZ $ @20 000. Mamabear took an interest - and it is no surprise that the company prefers female drivers - something about being less of boy racer nature . . . .

waihi BeachYep this is the Beach at Waihi - and yes it did threaten with rain - which never came. However it made for another nearly uncomfortable hot and humid weather day. The sand was hot to tread on and the water was so so warm. - Still - again not many folks on the beach, lovely to walk along on and enjoy!!

Hihihihi I did have to take this one - and yes - it is named in our Honour - :P NOT!!!!! Keen observers of the picture will notice that a former NZ Prime Minister has a street named after himself too - so we are in good company!!

We made yet another detour - into the Karangahake Gorge!!
Again - there was originally some gold rush and the miners had an interesting time working there. Not much gold was found in the end and so they left in a hurry - leaving behind endless tunnels and relics - for us to explore. One short little walk we did - needed a torch, as you go through the tunnels. The aptly named windows walk had some natural windows in the side - which the miners used to dump some tailing's . Anyhow - it was pitch black dark and I was glad I had my Lego man torch with me - which as some of you know - is part of my scout survival gear (pocket knife, whistle, teddy bear, lego-man torch)

More ferns - like I said yesterday - they grow up here in the zillions!!

Next day we spent the day in Tauranga. We did the loop walk around the base of Mount Maunganui (4.9km) and then mamabear flagged the 230 meter climb to the top for a good lookout. It was a very hot day and both of us were more or less knackered. In the end we went to a place called quarry park - which was recommended to us from the guy at the internet cafe!! Bit of a yawn in some ways - but was interesting enough. The Quark gardens needed lots more work and was not as nice, as sold to us form the bloke at the Cafe. Still it had interesting bits an pieces - including this view towards Mount Maunganui.

Before we got to said quarry - yep this is the camping ground right outside Mt Maunganui- and whoever said camping was a basic experience - forgot to tell these folks. Roger - pleeeeeease can we have a satellite dish on our next Scout Camp????

I have seen this beach on a number of occasions on TV - it is where they hold some annual Surf live saving competition!! Naturally we saw some people in the water - various practice drills taken place and of course we grabbed some more sand to take home.

In the evening we met SnowAngel - a young lass I knew via Scoutlink. We met for a quick bite at the local Burger King - as she had school and then an evening game of netball and as she really does live in the wotnops - it took a long time to get home and back out again (for her), so we did not have that much time to meet. However we ended up having a great time - albeit short - and even managed to swap a scarf!! hmmmm wonder who won the netball???

bear print

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