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8th December
written by Hazel

So the good news is that I already have lots of awesome adventures to write about.  The bad news is that the internet I’m using will not allow any uploads, so pictures will have to wait for now.

Our first night in Auckland we were feeling pretty tired, but we stumbled out of the hostel and found a fun little brewpub type place which had some good live music.  Kind of like being back in Seattle!  They also had a deal where if you bought dinner they gave you a discount on beer – genius! 

The next morning we got organized and then headed back to the airport to pick up our van.  It was absolutely terrifying driving on the left to begin with, but we did some practice courses in a quiet area and then set off.  We found supplies at a giant supermarket and then headed for Thames which is on the Coromandel Peninsula.  Justin was a superstar and got us there without a hitch.  Once there we stopped at the info center (these are all over the place in New Zealand and make it really easy to figure out where to go) and then decided to drive up into the hills to a Department of Conservation (DOC) campsite.  It was a long gravel road, but completely worth it because the campground was almost empty and in an absolutely stunning place.  We had a short walk and swam in a perfect river.  The only downside was the mosquitos, which I’m quickly learning to hate.

Today we drove up the coast to the town of Coromandel and stopped for Justin to sample some fresh oysters (he said they were wonderful!), I was brave and tried mussels for the first time and was pleasantly surprised.  The scenery driving up the coast was INCREDIBLE and there are beautiful places to stop everywhere.  There are also birds everywhere and it’s fun because we don’t recognize so many of them.  We kept on driving until we got to the Hot Water Beach.  At low tide this beach has one area that if you dig an inch or so down hot water comes out of the sand.  So people go there at low tide and make wallowing pools.  We were lucky because we hit the timing perfectly and were able to soak on the beach.  It was a fun contrast because the weather was cold and damp, but the pools were so warm.  Some of the sand was too hot to touch.

Tonight we’re staying at Hahei and tomorrow we will go to the Cathedral Cove and then head south again.  Thank goodness I’m getting better at this tricky driving thing, because there is a lot to see!

I’ll get photos up as soon as I can!


  1. Nadine

    Hi Hazel and Justin! What a great way to record your adventures! Happy travels! Love, Nadine and George

  2. Nigel

    Lots of birds everywhere, eh? It all sounds very relaxing.
    What kind of beer? Love, N

  3. Aunt Kathy

    It so fun to read about your adventure while I sit here paying bills and harping on the kids to do their homework and practice piano. I could use a warm beach pool right now. Florida is COLD – 43 degrees.

    I can’t wait to see the pictures!

    Love, Aunt Kathy

  4. 09/12/2010

    Look forward to seeing the pics. I like the sound of the hot water beach. So glad you are enjoying it all. Love Mumsies

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