Memories are a wonderful thing and I guess we all have some that we want to rekindle and that was certainly the case with my boys who even though they are now in their mid 20’s still wanted to get away with us in the new motorhome. Unfortunately when you get older you are sometimes tied to other things like work and my middle son (James) was unable to get time off but Thor and Richard were all in.
Deciding that they wanted to go to the Coromandel and visit among other places Hot Water Beach we set off Friday morning for the NZMCA camp at Coromandel and despite dire warnings on the website about “boggy ground” I am pleased to report that it was dry and firm with about 7 other vans there. Most surprising was running into some people who we had met at Manganese Point, what a small world.
Once we had parked the camper we where keen to get on the bikes and go exploring, heading off towards the wharf area and beyond it’s just fantastic how easy the bikes are to ride even getting up past 40km on the flat and faster downhill. Considering how long it is since I have ridden it’s like they say you just don’t forget.
Friday night passed rather peacefully with the only real disturbance being a boy racer doing burnouts somewhere nearby around 10pm. Neither Richard or Thor say they slept that well, but at least it was not my snoring that kept hem awake, tonight we are putting up the tent so Richard can have a nice peaceful night.
Saturday morning we were off to Driving Creek Railway seeing that it opened at 8.40 we arrived for just before 9 to discover that if we had been 5 minutes later we would have missed the train and had to wait over an hour for the next one so perfect timing. The train ride is a very pleasant trip taking about 25 minutes each way through the bush, tunnels and pottery. once you reach the top the view is spectacular
Driven by a 90 horsepower diesel engine the track rises 547 feet into the cliff face, rather expensive at $35 per adult but worth the trip.
From there we wanted to stop at the old stamping battery that we had noticed on the way to railroad but after having ridden the 300 metres up the road we discovered it closed and no signage to say it was open, so we rode back to the camper packed away the bikes and headed off to the other side of Coromandel.
Climbing up state highway 25 out of Coromandel it made me glad that we no longer have the Mitsi as I don’t think we would have made it up that hill!!! Great view from the top and then the big downhill run.
We stopped in Whangapoa for lunch and the boys went paddling to test the water temp, both decided that it was far too cold for a swim but a great beach with white sand and blue water. There was a great freedom camping area next too the General store and 30 metres from the beach but the boys did not want to spend the night there so we moved on.
A couple of stops along the way and then overnight tonight at Simpsons Beach (photos to follow in the next post) an absolute bargain at $10 for the night for the 3 of us and right on the water.