Coromandel region, NZ

Trip Start May 31, 2007
Trip End Sep 13, 2007

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Sunday, August 12, 2007

After our first week on the road we headed for Rob and Pat's (Anne's parents) Dairy farm.  This rolling farm was only 45 minutes from Auckland and just over an hour from the beach a brilliant location - many of the local farms are turning into life style plots for busy city dwellers due to its location.  Rob and Pat were prefect hosts, so welcoming, giving us the run of their house and with Oli and Tabi that does mean the whole house.  They kindly provided us with cosy rooms, fed delicious home cooking, and plied us with wine and beer.  Needless to say we really enjoyed their company and felt very relaxed.  The late nights and the 24/7 were getting to the children. Pat and Rob took their constant fighting in their stride.
We had a great morning around the farm, meeting the calves before a yummy lunch of pancakes, Tabitha really enjoyed helping Pat make our huge pile (should of took a picture there were so many) which we managed to finish!  Jon and I will need to go on a diet once we get home.
Pat made the yummiest vegetarian stack.  I now have the recipe and hope to be able to share this scrummy dish with you when I get home.  We spent the evenings with a glass or two of wine.  We were thoroughly spoilt, I hardly lifted a finger!  Jon enjoyed the rugby and few beers - supporting the All Blacks but don't tell his sister, Cherise in Perth!
With reluctance we moved on before they threw us out - it was probably the most difficult time we have had with the children's fighting.
We moved on to Coromandel and to Pat and Rob's Bach (beach house) in Whitianga(fit-ti-ang-a) - we had planned to head for Miranda and it's world renowned bird sanctuary, camp site with Thermal pool but the weather was horrid and forecast predicted no better.
The Bach was fab, cosy and spacious - we ended up spending a whole week in Whitianga, making the most of a house!  Whitianga had a really relaxed feel about it, lots to do including wandering aimlessly along its deserted beaches, climbing rocks and making up stories.  It was from here that we went off to Hot Water Beach, and actually dug our own hot (seriously hot in places) thermal pool directly on the sand.  How weird to be sitting on the beach in NZ mid winter in our cozies, bathing in warm thermal waters, watching the ocean.  It was a magically time the children really relaxed and we spent a good two hours lazing around and were one of the last people to leave.
We really liked Whitianga and right along the coast to Hot Water beach - a great place that we hope to visit again - we especially liked Cooks Bay.  We did not enjoy the sand flies - although everyone in the Coromandel kept assuring us that sand flies are only in the South Island and definitely not in the Coromandel - the line of bites across poor Oli's pant line, Tabitha's legs and Jon ever swelling arms or legs were evidence to the contrary.  Having a good base was an essential ingredient for this week and we really appreciate Pat and Rob's kind hospitality.  We hope to share a few more glasses of wine with Pat and Rob in the not too distance future.

Many of you will know that Jon and I are partial to a Friday night curry and when we discovered the Whitianga had a curry house we skipped for joy - after watching the new Simpson movie at the local Cinema late Friday afternoon (run by one man who did the ticket desk, kiosk and projector!) we settled the Oli to bed and ordered a curry.  I went a picked it up and all looked promising as the restaurant was busy - However, we can safely say it was the worst curry of our life - my paneer kebab we OK, Jon chicken dish was OK but the rest was unrecognisable - the spinach was so liquidised and concentrated you could have clean the underneath of a boat with it.  Needless to say we are looking forward a Friday night curry with Sally very soon.
We then headed off along the east coast to Kati Kati, a small town just outside Turanga.  We stayed at a very tied camp site in a superb location, surrounded by bush land (Forest) and fast running river. It had it own thermal pools - due to traveling in winter we had the whole place to ourselves, part from the people who seem to live on the sites who tend not to use the facilities.  We soon realised that the East coast is littered with Thermal Pools, with most of our sites right through until Mt Tongorio having varying sizes of Thermal pools from average size pools to pool no bigger than a bath.
Camps sites in NZ differ widely many are basic, some are pretty tired and others border on 5 star but they all have one thing in common - crappy Internet access.  We have had heated showers room to showers room with not glass in the windows or door to keep out the morning chill -  others that Tabitha and I have refused to go into.  Don't worry we have not turned into crusty travelers yet - the camper does have its own shower.   We actually left one site to move to another.        &nbs p;         &nbs p;         &nbs p;  
Our army of ants were still traveling with us - making surprise appearance nearly every morning only to be exterminated by Oliver, Tabitha and I.  We have become very quick at squiggling them up with a tissue - pesky things
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eamorley on

Hi Everybody sounds like you're having a great time. When in Wellington try to drop in to the Korura Wildlife reserve. It is a very beautiful place and is full of native birds. They also do guided night tours to see spotted kiwi. We did that and it was great. They give you shaded red tourches to see them.


The Morleys

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