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Reisverslag Tauranga, Coromandel and more
11 december 2015
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Tauranga, Coromandel and more
So that was my weekend in Hamilton. Let’s see, what did I do next? During the week I probably had some meetings and worked the rest of the time and that weekend I had another organised trip by Student Trips New Zealand. This time we would be heading to the east of the North Island, to Mount Maunganui and Tauranga in the Bay of Plenty to be exactly. Our first stop this trip would be the old goldmines in Karangahake Gorge. That weekend the weather was great with a lot of sun so that was a big plus. The goldmines were really interesting to see with trails that led us over old wobbling bridges across the river, old railways for those goldmine carts (also known as mine trolleys) you may know from old western movies and through dark mining tunnels. This all plus the awesome mountain surroundings made it a good start of this trip. After a little relaxing time in the sun it was time to get back inside the warm bus to go to Mount Maunganui nearby Tauranga. So after some sitting in the bus we finally arrived at Mount Maunganui were we would hike to the top of the extinct volcanic cone known as The Mount. Just like most mountains you have to hike to the top for some great views of the area, but with this warm weather it could become a real challenge. The nice beach that’s next to the Mount really looked like a better option to spend some time on in this weather condition instead of hiking. It was a pretty long walk to the top with some steep parts and the heat of the sun made it impossible to do without drinking a lot of water. So a lot of water and sweat later we finally got to the top what was really amazing. On one side of the mountain there were guys para gliding from another side you had an amazing view over the beach, the ocean and the little islands in there. On the other side you also had an amazing view over Matakana Island, Rangiwaea Island, Motuhoa Island and Tauranga. A lot of photos later it was time to go down again to the beach where we spend some time to swim in the ocean, play some beach football and just relaxed a little while enjoying the weather. The beach was also the spot where we would have our dinner, a pizza. Together with some other guys I helped carrying the 50 pizzas from the parking lot, where the pizza delivery guy was waiting, to the beach and you really should have seen some of the faces people were making, priceless. After our pizza we had some more time to play some football on the beach before we would head to our hostel in Tauranga. After a nice refreshing shower it was time to have some drinks on the hostel’s balcony before going out in this city which kind of reminded me of some of the places at the Costas of Spain with their boulevards and bars alongside the beach. After some drinks, a lot of fun and some awesome fireworks we had a really great night out which ended with a midnight swim in the ocean, some relaxing and guitar noise in the lounge area of the hostel. The next morning I had my breakfast on the balcony of the hostel from which you had an amazing view over the ocean especially with the morning sun and clear blue sky that day. So that was a good start of what turned out to be a very warm Sunday. First we went to another beach for some relaxing before we head of to visit the Martha gold mine and a long (kind of boring) hike alongside the river. The one thing that was kind of cool (for sure the temperature was a lot cooler) was the last part of the hike where we had to walk through the 1100 metres former rail tunnel which at some point looked like it had no ending. This tunnel let us to the goldmines we visited the day before. Here we had some time for relaxing or a swim in the river before we would head back to Auckland. Yet again it was an amazing weekend in beautiful New Zealand.
The next week was just a normal working week I guess and in the weekend there was nothing planned. On Friday we did have a small goodbye party to my German friend Christoph who would head to Taupo on Saturday and after that to the South Island before leaving New Zealand. This entire weekend I stayed in Auckland which was also fun for a change. The next week we had a bowling night on Thursday which was quit fun even though I did pretty bad.
That weekend I had another trip with Student Trips, this time we were going to The Coromandel Peninsula which is east from Auckland and extends 85 kilometres. On Saturday the weather was far from good, but we were hoping it would get better that day. Now I can tell you it didn’t get better, it only got worse throughout the day, but that didn’t spoil the fun at all. With a short stop on the way to buy some food and drinks we went to one of Coromandel’s main attractions, Cathedral Cove which was really amazing. With the sandy beach, the rock formations in the ocean and of course the naturally cathedral-like arched cavern that passes through a big white rock. I can tell you it’s truly amazing to see what nature is capable of. Even with the weather being not so good I felt like I was in a small paradise where we had lunch on the beach and played some football. As if one natural wonder wasn’t enough for that day we also went to Hot Water Beach. And yes just like it says the water on that beach can be hot, very hot I can assure you. The best way to experience the hot water is when the tide is low, because then you can dig a hole on the beach and the water that comes from the ground is hot. Unfortunately for us the tide was high, but we still managed to experience the hot water by going into the cold ocean and burry our feet in the sand. When you got your feet in deep enough they got nice and warm till it got too hot sometimes. After this amazing experience it was time to get to our hostel in Hahei and what a hostel this was, the best I’ve been to so far and they probably don’t get any better. Instead of one building with a huge number of rooms this hostel was divided into sort of small bungalows with bedrooms, a living area with couches and a TV, a good size kitchen and not one but two showers and toilets. After dinner my roommates for that weekend and I and some others had a couple of drinks in our new temporarily home before we would go into the centre of Hahei to this bar where a local band should be playing that night. It took us a little while to find the bar, but we managed to get there and the band was totally awesome. A couple of drinks and a got show of the band later we had to walk back to our hostel. I already told you that the weather wasn’t that good that day, but at that moment it was raining cats and dogs and we also got a great lightning and thunder show with it. So after our walk of approximately 20 minutes there was literally no dry spot on my clothes left and I actually had to dry my shoes with the hair dryer at the gym two days later. Oh well, like we say in Holland rain doesn’t make you melt or something. The next day we were going back to the beach to go sea kayaking. I was in the second group and that was a good thing, because when it was our turn the weather was great. The kayaking was really awesome and I am very positive that this wasn’t my last sea kayaking tour here in New Zealand. We went to Stingray Bay where we saw a lot of stingrays passing the kayak underneath and next to you and we also went to Cathedral Cove again where we would have a coffee break. Before we went back to the shore the kayaking instructors told us about this swing a little bit further up the beach from where you would have an amazing view over Hahei Beach and could make really nice photos. And they turned out to be right. On a small piece of beach there was a big rope swing attached to a tree on which you could swing after climbing on top of a rock first. After everybody had his turn it was time to get back to the bus and head back to Auckland. And just like the previous weekends with Student Trips this was another great one.
Because this blog is getting a bit longer than I expected I will be short on the last part of it. So the following week some friends and I went to see a show from Diplo on Thursday, had a goodbye party in the city for Kendyl an American friend, went to a free park festival in Grey Lynn (a suburb of Auckland) on Saturday and went to Piha Beach with some friends on Sunday. Now for you loyal readers of my blogs Piha Beach may sound familiar, because I’ve already been there once before, but this time the weather was much better and we did climb on top of the Lion Rock. The next week we went to this Dutch little restaurant on Wednesday where you could get some real Dutch food like bitterballen, kroketten, pannenkoeken, frikandellen and more. It was a bit expensive but we had a good night.
Now I am not going to tell you about it yet, but that weekend I had another trip and it was freaking awesome I can tell you that. And also this weekend I have a one day trip. I will give you a little bit of information about both trips; they both involve Lord of the Rings.
So I have come to an end of yet another blog. I hope some of you still enjoy reading them. For photos you can go to my Facebook page (ask to become a friend if we aren’t already) where I upload albums of every trip and since a few weeks you can also follow me on Instagram @aaldersronald.
Foto's bij verslag (10)
21 december 2015 00:14 | Door: Catharina
Hi Ronald, still enjoy to read your blog. It is very clear you have the time of your life over there in New Zealand! Nice to read and hear! We also enjoy your photografs on Facebook!
We wish you a very nice Christmas and a happy new year! I also forgot to congratulate you with your nephew Noah! Love and kisses from us all in Spijkenisse!
22 december 2015 11:43 | Door: Mariëtte
Again amazing to read all of your adventures. And once again great pictures.
It seems to me that it is a beautifull country with all kinds of special places and I'm glad you can enjoy all of this. Hope you have a nice Christmas over there, you told me that you're going to the beach to barbecue instead of gourmet like we do over here. Never the less have a great Christmas and we all say Cheers!! to you. Love and kisses from all of us. Mom