Rab & Lesley's Second Big Trip

Days 44 to 49 - New Zealand

Day 44 - 14th January 2019

Day 43 was spent with family but today we headed north to the Coromandel Peninsula
It rained heavily all the way

But the rain eased off by the time we reached Whitianga and I was able to take a walk at Sunset

Down to the waterfront nearest our B&B

Day 45 - 15th January 2019

It's been raining much of the day but we did get a trip to the beach

For a look at Mercury Bay

We have booked a boat tour of the bay for Thursday when the weather is hopefully better

The north end of the beach

The ferry wharf at the south end

Day 46 - 16th January 2019

A day trp to Coromandel Town and McGregor Bay
Where there are Oyster and Mussel beds

And on to Wyuna Bay with some stuning views on the way

This was taken looking down at 45°

We then headed back to Coromandel for Lunch passing McGregor Bay again

And then to Driving Creek to ride a narrow gauge railway.
We had quite a wait for the next train

The Driving Creek Railway climbs 2.7km from the Base Station at 55 metres above sea level to EyeFull Tower at 167 metres above sea level, a total climb of 115 metres. With an average gradient of 1-in-24.1 the Driving Creek Railway is New Zealandís steepest railway. Unlike most other tourist railways, this railway is newly built rather than being an old line that has been restored. It is New Zealandís only narrow-gauge mountain railway.

To climb this height they use a number of reverse tracks to zig zag up the hillside and there is a horseshoe loop where the track comes back on itself over a two level bridge

Many cuttings are shored up with bottle walls

All the bricks are made on site

This is the end of one of the reverse tracks - cantelevered out over the gorge

Provides two great views

The loop going down

On the drive back to Whitianga we stopped of at a viewpoint that provides views of both the east coast - looking towards Matarangi and the Mercury Islands

... and of the west coast - looking back towards Coromandel and McGregor Bay

Day 47 - 17th January 2019

A boat trip in the morning and Beaches in the afternoon
We started off with a boat tour of Mercury Bay in a Glass Bottomed Boat

There are lots of islands which are the remains of volcano cores

A main attraction is Cathedral Cove

Some birdlife

and marine life

The Dolphins used up our snorkelling time so a few settled for a swim in a blow hole off Cooks Beach
The cave has a hole in the roof where the waves 'blew through'

In the afternoon we headed north to Kuaotunu

Where we saw a few Oystercatchers

Then drove on to Otama Beach

and finally to Opito Bay

Many of the roads in Coromandel are gravel roads and all are full of steep hills and hairpins
They have to be driven to be believed
Sadly there are too few places where you can safely stop to admire the stunning views

Day 48 - 18th January 2019

Unfortunately something I ate last night did not like being eaten and it took savage revenge on me all night and most of today

Day 49 - 19th January 2019

Last day in New Zealand. I am OK but Lesley now has the same bug
So a slow drive to the airport for a late night flight to Honolulu
Quick stop at Thames on the Firth of Thames on the west of the Coromandel Peninsula

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