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New Zealand North Island Coromandel

New Zealand North Island Coromandel


Postby past my sell by date » Wed Mar 13, 2019 7:25 pm

Date walked: 26/11/2002

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I first went to New Zealand for their Summer from late Nov. 2002 til March 2003 and I've been back twice more. It is the only place I think which might conceivably be - in parts - more beautiful than Scotland , and particularly in South Island involve the toughest walking I have ever done :roll:
Steve and Tam a young couple whom I met first in the Austrian Alps and later in the Lakes kindly invited me to base my holiday on their place in Auckland so I started out in North Island and at their suggestion headed first for the Coromandel Peninsula across the Hauraki gulf from Auckland

In New Zealand you have to learn that the East coast is normally to your North, that the South sides of mountains are the cold icy ones, that pine trees are slow growing hardwoods while beech are fast growing softwoods, and also that although the terrain particularly in in North Island has the feel of a "jungle" - it's a totally benign one - there is almost nothing to harm or even irritate you except sandflies which are nothing compared to midges and occur mainly in South Island
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Coromandel Peninsula
I drove South from Auckland to Thames and then up the West coast of the peninsula to Coromandel town itself, where I stayed in a very comfortable B&B :)
West coast
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On the road North from Thames
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Manaia harbour - about 10km South of Coromandel town
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Looking North across the harbour
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Evening views from Papa Aroha further up the coast

Inland
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Totara pine
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Young Rimu pine
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Kauri - New Zealand's most famous pine - much sought after by loggers - the few that are left are now protected
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This one - I think New Zealand's biggest - though not in Coromandel - is a seriously large tree :shock: :shock:
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Jungle - the foxglove is of course a British immigrant
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Around the Waiau river
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Tree ferns growing below taller trees
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The Pohutukawa is a common tree here
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The white buds
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burst into these stunning red flowers :D :D

Castle Rock
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Castle rock is a 525m high volcanic plug and an easy 2 hour hike, but after 2 recent fatal accidents its Maori owners the Ngāti Huarere have implemented a rāhui, a temporary ritual prohibition - and it's currently off limits :( :(
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First sight through the trees
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Getting nearer
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From a sub-summit
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Along the summit ridge
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Zoomed
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Looking down West to Coromandel town

The Coromandel Walkway
In the very far North East of the peninsula the Coromandel walkway is a near flat coastal walk running North West from Stony bay to Fletcher bay. There is an organised trip whereby you are taken to the start and collected at the other end, but I had no trouble walking on my own and returning by the inland track on the map. The Views are to die for :D :D
A small black feral pig charged off down the track and vanished into the woods just after I'd set off :lol: they are quite comon I'm told
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Walkway map
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First view of the East coast
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Stony bay
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Pohutukawas grow prolifically by the sea
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Looking down into Shag bay
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and back
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A panoramic view back
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And on across Poley bay
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The track drops quite close to the sea at one point
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An older section of track: the white blossom is Manuka - the tea tree
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Looking down a valley to Poley bay
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The grassy ridge between Poley and Fletcher bays
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"flat top" island from the end of the walkway: In the distance is Great Barrier island
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New Zealand flax
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The track is reversed to the ridge which then climbs away from the sea: looking down the same gully I think, but from higher
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Higher still
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It wouldn't be New Zealand without a cabbage tree :lol:
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A lone Pohutukawa in bud
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Looking back down from the high point on the return
In 2015 Donna and I drove up the west coast to Fletcher bay: the weather was poor, but the huge Pohutukawas on the coast road were amazing :D
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New Zealand's trees are stunning - there are around 300 varieties of broadleafs - which must nearly ten times the number in Europe

Cathedral cave
Given the poor weather in 2015, a visit to a beach cave seemed a good idea. Cathedral cave is on the East coast just North of Hahei. There is a ferry from Whitianga, but as I was about to drive on I was told it was only for foot passangers :lol: :lol: :lol: - so we had to drive round.
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Views of the East coast nearby
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A rather pretty little boat sailed by
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Sea cliffs around the cave
There is a car park and steps leading down to the beach, but it was all a bit "trippery" for our liking. spectacular none the less
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On the beach
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Various views through the arch from both directions

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Donna finding a convenient resting place

So that was my first taste of New Zealand - and be assured the rest didn't disappoint :D
past my sell by date
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Re: New Zealand North Island Coromandel

Postby onsen » Thu Mar 14, 2019 10:51 pm

Just across the ditch from me...thanks for sharing such a beautiful area, past my sell by date. :thumbup:
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onsen
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Re: New Zealand North Island Coromandel

Postby dav2930 » Sat Mar 16, 2019 5:53 pm

A stunning part of the world. I lived in Australia (near Adelaide) for 7 years as a child, but I think I would have preferred NZ - much more varied and beautiful. Can't believe what's happened in Christchurch recently - seems nowhere is safe from those bigoted nutters :(
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Location: Cumbria

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