Be Prepared to Stink for a While

MOUNT MAUNGANUI

Waking up amongst plush pillows in a log cabin to bird song and the gentle rush and sigh of the sea outside was the perfect welcome to New Zealand. Stepping outside to breathe in the fresh sea air, I knew that despite the long drive ahead of us and the jet-lag beggining to creep into the corners of my brain, today was going to be a good day. The first stop today, after stopping for poached eggs and a flat white to get us going, was Mount Maunganui. Formed from the extinct volcano Mauao that rises above the town, a climb to the summit offers breathtaking views of the town below and the bay stretching out into the ocean. The name of the extinct volcano – “Manau” means ‘caught by the dawn’ in Maori and is based on Maori legend.

A view from the top of Mount Mainganui
A view from the top of Mount Mainganui

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Coromandel Adventures

Touching down in Mordor (sorry, I mean Auckland, New Zealand) I really do feel, strangely,  like I’ve come home. Even though I’ve never been here in my life there is a strange similarity to the place. Our first stop, having picked up the car, was to head out to The Coromandel. A beautiful peninsula east of Auckland, encompassing Coromandel Forest Park, Hot Water Beach (yes, really, due to volcanic activity in the area, the water on a stretch of this beach is hot, very hot, and if you dig a hole and sit in it it’s like having a bath – only a very salty, sandy one).

Arrivals
Arrivals

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