Coromandel Peninsular – New Zealand 08

November 18, 2007   

by Annabelle Booth

The NZ weather has been good to us recently but we still do get days of drizzle and mist-you know its a grotty day when you can’t see the Auckland Harbour Bridge. This week-end, Ashley and I went to a place called the Coromandel Peninsular. It is a lovely spot and only 2 hours from Auckland. We did a walk up to a place called The Pinnacles, which is basically a rocky outcrop that used to be magma from a volcano. It is meant to take 3 hours to get to the top but we managed it in about 2.5 which was rather satisfying! The surrounding area is where they used to do alot of kauri log mining. You have to climb up steep stone steps on the walk which they used to send the pack horses up- I don’t know how the horses got up- some of it was very steep and the paths even went across rocky streams! The loggers set up a dam system which they used to send the logs down the hill. One of the streams was renamed Calamity Creek as it was very steep waterfall and all the logs shattered at the bottom…. They used the dam system to send up to 28,000 logs downstream- huge amounts!!

We spent the night in the Dept of Conservation hut with 40 others! The hut actually sleeps 80 and it was full- there were lots of family groups so it had a nice atmosphere. It reminded me of the walks my family used to do in HK. We walked down the hill, along the Billy Goat trail. We were very lucky as we did actually see a billy goat!

After the walk, we drove to Hot Water Beach and Hahei Beach where we took a sea kayaking trip to see Cathedral Cove. It was great fun on the kayak. Ash is an experienced kayaker but I am a novice- apparently I need to work on my technique which is not as efficient as it could be! The kayak leader heard of Ash’s experience and decided to liven up our kayaking trip by launching us from the beach straight into a massive wave- we did not turn over but it was a very comical/hair raising experience taking a wave full frontal! I was in the front, as I did not trust myself to steer the kayak, so got the brunt of it!!

Tonight, to save costs I am staying the night on the boat with Ash. The boat is 90 foot long and amazing- it has all the mod cons including air con, fridges, freezers, washing machine, dryer, computers, jacuzzi up top and some lovely guest cabins. The staff cabins are pretty good too. I am now seriously considering doing some sailing courses and trying to get a job as a stewardess on a boat.

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