Driving up the Coromandel Peninsula

Trip Start Oct 16, 2007
Trip End May 09, 2008

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Saturday, January 26, 2008

Our first stop on the Coromandel Peninsula was Whangamata.  There's supposed to be some great surf in Whangamata, so we asked around where Frank could rent a board.  One shop that rented boards said the beach was actually closed due to the really rough conditions, but there was the Billabong Surf Competition going on.  So we went to check it out.  The surfers out there were having a tough time as the waves were really rough and choppy - conditions were not optimal for surfing for sure.  The announcer actually cancelled the afternoon junior competition since the conditions were so bad!

We wandered back to town to have some lunch at the highly recommended Craig's Fish & Chips.  The snapper was just awesome - even Frank liked it!  And he doesn't eat fish or seafood for that matter, go figure!  They had some ingredients in the tartar sauce that made it extra tasty too.

We drove further up the peninsula to Cathedral Cove.  There were fabulous views from the car park (see pics) and the views got even better as we walked 30-45 min down to the cove.  Cathedral Cove is a beautiful cove with eroded limestone cliffs and a huge limestone arch.  Lots of people were picnicking and swimming down in the cove.  It would be a great place to hang out all day long at the beach if we had more time, such a fantastic place...  There's a couple of other bays to visit on the way down to Cathedral Cove - Stingray Bay, which had lots of huge boulders, and Gemstone Bay, which is supposed to be excellent for snorkeling.

We arrived in Hahei really late and the holiday park was completely full!  First and only time this happened to us in NZ.  So we ended up spending the night in a parking lot above Cathedral Cove, high up in the cliffs with the awesome view!
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