Just another road trip: Cape Reigna, Whangarei, Piha, Coromandel

When we woke up in Auckland we packed all our things and left that city. Our next plan was to go to Helensville. To find a way was quite easy. Among bigger places there is necessary to know just a number of the road and you can make it.

In Helensville we drank some coffee. Martin wanted to chill out a little bit and it was another chance to drive a car. We explored a small peninsula. There was a very nice beach called Shelly Beach with a very nice bridge on the water where some birds were relaxing. Martin wanted them to warm up and started running. All of them were away immediately. The beach was very nice. There were some fishermen and a special restaurant. You can catch something in the sea and they prepare everything in that restaurant. We did some walking around and kept driving around that peninsula. We wanted to go to South Head part, but unfortunately we turned to a wrong direction and we got lost. Some Japanese guys arrived and asked about the direction, but we could not help. On the other hand that place was cool for relaxation. We ate some food, watched Scary Movie 4 and returned back to Helensville.

I was really tired and I was happy we could change our positions in cars and Martin could keep driving. We were driving up directly to Cape Reigna. However, it was far, far away and we wanted to drive around the coastline. Close to Dargaville there was Baylys Beach. You can derive it was a beach from name. It was getting dark and we decided to stay over there. There were some people, but we did not hesitate and parked exactly on sand. We prepared our dinner and tried to fall asleep. Because of the weather was not the best, we were wondering about tide, in particular about high tide. We stood on sand where the surface was quite rough and we expected the tide would be in that part. Even though we were quite tired, we move our car further from the water.

In the morning I took some photos and did a quick walk on the beach. I met some people with their dogs who went for a walk. However, our biggest motivation was still Cape Reigna, a place with (as far as I know) northernmost lighthouse in New Zealand, so we left Baylys Beach early and kept driving. We had some stops on the way, had a great view from Pakia Hill and visited a great café over there for instance. The trip was quite long, but sceneries amazing. On some places the ground was red and nothing, but beautiful trees and hills were all around. Sometimes I though the time was stopped. We had a quick break about 10 minutes from Cape Reigna. We ate some food and kept driving to that place. There was a big car park, modern toilets and some walking tracks. We wanted to see the lighthouse and a place where Tasman Sea meets Pacific Ocean. The experience was really cool; a lot of spectacular waves on the sea persuaded us that visiting those parts of New Zealand was worth.

We decided to camp in that car park. That place was calm a little bit cold, but we slept well. Our next place was Whangarei. The distance between Cape Reigna and Whangarei was quite big, so we had some stops during our driving. We wanted to go to 90 Mile Beach, but there was a problem close to the entrance and it was quite difficult to get there. We decided to continue to Whangarei. However, when we were in Bay of Islands, the place called Russell was very interesting for us. I read in my guidebook there began the Anglo-Saxon settlement. We used a special ferry and enjoyed our afternoon from a small lookout. We met some locals and people from Australia who wished us all the best. The scenic view was really nice.

I was driving on the rest of the way to Whangarei. We used a different road and we avoided the ferry. The road was pretty narrow, but finally after couple hours we were in Whangrei. We found a very nice motel over there. Pretty cool management included, there were very nice to us. We drank some beer and watched a DVD. We completely relaxed and were thinking about next plans. Whangarei Falls sounded promising. When we woke up, we checked-out again and visited the Town basin in the city centre. There were some restaurants. We tried one of them and ordered some drink and food. The manager seemed quite unfriendly, but iced chocolate was really good. After that we visited Whangarei Falls. We were really close to the waterfall, but we were wondering how to get closer. We succeeded and took some beautiful pictures.

From Whangarei we wanted to go back to Auckland. The trip was alright and I was really excited. When I was in Auckland I wanted to cross the Harbour Bridge what was no possible without a car or a bus. When we were close to that bridge, it was like a paradise. There was possible to observe whole downtown and for me the atmosphere was really cool. We decided to go sleeping on Piha Beach. It is a quite famous place, the sand is black and The Piano by Jane Campion was filmed over there. Despite the fact I was really excited to visit Piha, it was still afternoon and we decided to enjoy another Auckland time. We parked in our favourite parking place close to Public Library. After that we did some walks and Martin decided to try another fitness place. Unfortunately it was quite late and not much time left for training. We took our car and drove to downtown. For me it was the first driving experience in Auckland and later the first parking experience in a small place. We parked in Countdown. Martin went to his fitness place and I went shopping. After that I connected on the Internet for a while and when Martin finished I returned back.

It was getting dark and time to find the Piha Beach. We checked our maps and guides and Martin believed me I could drive. In Auckland a van driver showed me something. I was confused, but after a while we recognized he tried to inform us we did not turn our headlights on. The trip to Piha Beach was quite long, but we had a lot of fun. In general, every time we got lost we had a lot of fun. Fortunately we found that place and I was really happy. Outside the road there was a really nice place for the rest and we slept there and as usual we completely relaxed.

In next morning we did some walks on the beach. It was amazing. For me Piha Beach is a place full of mystery. The big dominant is the Lion Rock. You can find some surfers around, but Piha is also known as a quite dangerous place. I really enjoyed the walking over there, I tried to jump over a small stream, but I was not completely successful. Small parts of my feet sank into water. However, it was not time to regret, it was time to continue to Coromandel.

We tried to return back to Auckland. When we were on motorway close to the city centre, we used wrong exits from there, unfortunately. After a small loop experience we returned back to downtown. As usual we parked on our favourite place and connect on the Internet for a while. For me 1 hour was enough, Martin had some urgent things and needed another hour. I decided to do some walks. When I left that Internet place I was walking close to my first backpacker I stayed and I met one of my mates, Dean. He was changing the hostel. What do you do I asked. The same shit like before he replied, but definitively it was very nice to see him again.

From Auckland we kept driving to Coromandel Peninsula. During the evening we arrived in a small town called Thames. Nothing special, but we could take some petrol and had a quick snack. We thought we are close to Coromandel town, but we were wrong and the distance was still quite big, therefore outside Thames we found a small private road. Each end of the road leaded to a house where somebody turned the light on. Probably not many people are around and when somebody arrives it is like a special occasion. Because it was really late, we decided to stay on the side of that road. As usual we drank some beer and watched a movie. The night was all right, I could observe the nature I saw in a brilliant video. It was pretty much the same experience.

In the morning we kept driving. We were driving around the peninsula. We stopped for a while behind Thames, had a quick breakfast and continued to Coromandel Town. That place was really small, but very nice as well as whole Coromandel Peninsula. Outside the town we stopped on a place for taking some photos. We met a Maori guy who called himself like Lion. He proposed us we could stay at his place. However, we wanted to continue. I was relaxing and had a little bit worries, because the roads were quite bad. A lot of steep places included. Martin prepared some adrenalin when we had a small accident over there. It was not horrible, just we were outside the road for a while, but I hit a little bit my head and I was quite worried about Martin whether he is all right or not. He apologized me, but it was all right and there was almost no damage on the car, just when you opened the driver’s door you could hear a very strange sound. I was really happy we were all right, because some parts of that road looked much more dangerous and fall down over there would be really interesting.

When we returned back to Coromandel Town, I continued with driving to the place Whitianga. We decided to stay there, because quite close was a really famous place called Hot Water Beach. Martin booked a really luxury motel over there. It was probably the most luxury place I had ever stayed. We wanted to completely relax again. We bought some ingredients and prepared lunch. Martin was satisfied and we watched a movie I ever wanted to watch – The Last King of Scotland. We did some walks on the beach, there were some surfers, but the weather was getting worse, so we returned back. We watched some movies and talked to each other about various things. He felt a little bit guilty because of accident, but I was not angry about him, because similar things sometimes happened. Like a satisfaction I learned from him some cool things like how to open a bottle of beer without a bottle opener. I had known techniques before, but that one was probably the coolest one – opening with another bottle of beer. The big advantage is, if you don’t have a bottle opener, there is no necessary to buy it; you can just buy one or two more bottles of beer instead of. We fell asleep without troubles and had beautiful dreams about our next stops – Hot Water Beach and Bay of Plenty.

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