Tuesday, February 9, 2010

From Auckland to the Coromandel

Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Yesterday - urm after a short stop and stroll on the Beach near Waiuku (which has black sand)
we started driving towards Whitianga. On the way we had to stop at some places - pics and place names below. Suffice to say it was a rather long day with driving, stop-ing and meandering through the various places / sights etc. Got to the Motel around 5pm-ish and went to New World and got a pre-cooked chicken and some garlic bread - Yummmmm. Oh let's not forget the local vino!! This morning - after getting petrol - we did the little round trip - route 309 to be precise.






black sand near WaiukuThe Black sand near Waiuku is amazing!! it is really black, and that is because its loaded with some form of iron. So much so that there is this steel mill - that's piping in the Sand and somehow makes Steel. Well that sounds easy - but the mill is spread over a great area.

water gardenUrm - this sign says it all- and yes it was as quirky and as funny as you can get. The garden was full of jokes and puns. some where straight of the net - others where very clever word plays.
The rrest of the garden was a great display and the owner certainly put a huge effort into this. Well worth a visit.

Maybe we should put some of these up at the local Highschool??????

NZ Silver FernWould you believe it - I've been here in NZ for nearly or almost 30 years and THIS is my very first-real--live-in-nature Silver Fern (a real NZ icon) that I have seen. Woha

seat for tall poppiesI had to help her up and down- :) I could say she ain't tall enough for a poppy, but . . . . . . . .
MY lips are sealed

(Notice the feet of the ground??)

Coromandel walkway - in deep bush
One of the plenty walkways in the Coromandel peninsula and yep, they are as nice as this. Most walks last from 10min to 30 min and there are longer stints available!!

Waterfalls in the Watergarden near Rapaura / Tapu This lovely spot called Rapaura Water garden was just 10 min of the road - and the water was refreshingly cool and very inviting.

NZ Found a Kauri Stand on route 309. There is this group of Kauri trees one can go and see - amazing to think that they have been grown since from BEFORE a human foot has set foot on NZ soil - and that is saying something. They did ascertain that one tree has been growing since 1 AD.
Now THAT'S amazing - when you think about it . . . . .
and I think about it I did - and all I could think of - this particular Kauri tree would set you up with firewood for the rest of your life - yikes I am wicked. . .
However the tree is very dense and because of that has been used to make ships masts and large house beams. Now of course they are a protected species and NZ tries very hard to re-establish them. I won't be around to see it come into fruition - simple because I won't live to 500 plus years.
There is this kauri trust - where one can sponsor the planting of a Kauri Tree - and keep getting an yearly update on progress etc.
I like the idea and will need to research this a bit more - on the mechanics and Yes I DO realize that by the time i kark it - it will still be only a young sapling - but hey - it is good to help with th ere-forestation of the NZ Trees and bush!!
Waiou Waterfall near route 309 Here the water was just right and indeed invited you to skinny dip. In fact there was this family - mum/dad/plus a 3 year old kid and Mum very obviously did skinny dip in the pool. We kinda surprised them -and given that you where only 10 min of the road to the pool a n d it is a popular place to visit - I decided the risk was just not worth it to urm expose some old wrinkled flab- but man - what a lovely spot!!

The Waterworks Garden - a way cool picnic spot for the local Coromandel folks. They have all this cool water driven gadgets and some where even way fun to play with. Here mamabear can be seen peddling furiously on the bike and squirting the waterlilies!!
The Garden also had various waterwheels and other things - and a lot of thought provoking wordings - of which I recognize some via internet email chain mail.

Hehehehe - how mean can they get - a DUNKING machine for a teddbear!!!! Well I C A N report that this Teddy did get away unhurt, although it was fun for a while, watching, and see if he would get a fair dunking.

From the look out point - half way between Coromandel and Whitianga. Below can be seen the Town of Coromandel and the Firth of Thames. And yes it was as warm as it looks on the picture. I'm sure I added some layers of roasted skin on my torso.

Ok having gotten a jar full of black sand from Waiuku to take home, we heard about the white sandy beaches in the Coromandel so we just HAD to get some from there. This beach had a lovely largish holiday home settlement attached to it and it was just fabulous!! The blue sky / blue water / white sandy beach / SUN and more sun and a grand total of maybe 20 odd people dispersed on the beach - I tell you it ain't get much better then that!!

I just had to take this one - in Canterbury and and various other parts of the country we have a exact replica sign for FIRE restrictions. Seems the Coromandel, even with a high annual rainfall count, is not immune to some dry spells!!!

On the way home we stopped at a guy's place - who makes knifes. It was something we spotted on the way up yesterday - but decided to stop today as we had more time. Now he makes his knives from scratch eg a forge and tempers them and puts on a handle (usually made out of wood from the pohutakawa tree) and these knives are just gorgeous, or better said superfantastiqueexquisitsuperb - and so was the price and sadly (Yes I did cry on the inside) we just could not afford a purchase!! I shall have to see later if I can find the guy on the web and insert his web page here. (note - have not found him on web to-date)

Upon returning we did a quick wash of some clothes - dissed the sand and walked into town in search of a internet cafe and - well dinner! We ended up sitting on the pavement - yes like a real yuppie couple, just an older yuppie couple, watched the world go by and consumed a lovely meal in a pizzeria or more correctly outside of said pizzeria, complete with a very tasty brew. The setting sun was beating down and so we walked off the extra pounds gained from dessert on the beach at Whitianga!!

Rung my mum for her 70th Birthday, txt'd jade for her 21st Birthday, now time for some pages to read and then bed!! More tomorrow.

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