New Zealand: part V

After snowy mountains, mirror lakes, wilderness hikes and wildlife spotting there was one thing we didn’t really do yet in New Zealand and that’s: going to the beach. The -almost- full time summer weather kicking in makes this thé ideal moment to start saving for a summer tan. And when you can do this on a beautiful location that’s even better. Our next stop was the Coromandel Peninsula with Cathedral Cove and Hot Water Beach as absolute highlights.

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The beach of Cathedral Cove must be the most beautiful beach we’ve ever been too. Clear blue water, pearlwhite sand, beautiful coves as scenery and ice cold water. The water is so cold there’s only one way in and that’s running.

When we discovered that the carpark of Cathedral Cove could be used as a free overnight camping spot we decided to go there after nightfall and shoot some pictures. It was great. With just us there, a full moon and loads of stars. We can’t show the pictures yet since there on the big camera. But this is one we took with the GoPro.

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On our way to the beach it was still light, on our way back it was completely dark. The walk back usually takes about 45 minutes via a path through dense forest. But this time it took us let’s say roughly 25 minutes. Scared by noises, unknown eyes watching us and some owls we decided to make a bit more noise ourself and to increase our walking speed A LOT 🙂

Hot Water Beach is a beach which has two hot water sources. 2 hours either side of low tie you can dig a hole in the sand and relax in your very own natural jacuzzi. Our jacuzzi was a big one which we shared with let’s say Germany. The longer we’re here, the more we ask ourselves if there are überhaupt any youngsters left in Germany. Because there are so many here. Ganz toll um die Deutsche Sprache auf zu frisschen. Haha.

After we drove all the way north of the Coromandel to go to New Chums Beach, to go back south and go for our last big hike. We stopped early morning at the DOC in the Coromandel Forest and went for the Pinnacles walk. At first we didn’t really feel like it. Especially Hidde was tired, but it didn’t take long or we were back on top speed.

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We started Christmas Eve on a free campground next to the beach with a boxing match at the local pub and had delicious van-cooked meal afterwards. As usual I was already full after the appetizers. But we kept going and had sjoekes -éclairs- as dessert! Mmm.

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Christmas Day we were in Auckland, the biggest city of New Zealand, where more than half of the population lives. We planned a romantic dinner for two on this Christmas Day without our families, but since everything was closed, we ended up in the only bar/restaurant which was open and which was: a Belgian one. So with some Stella’kes, Brugse Zot, Flemish stew and fries -stoofvlees met frietjes- we weren’t that far from home after all.

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After 5,5 weeks and with over 5000 km mileage on New Zealands roads we’re ready for something new. We happily turned our Happy Camper in. It was more than great. But time to move on. We slept our first night back in a regular bed. Heavenly soft. Tomorrow we’re flying to Bali, with an overnight stop in Kuala Lumpur. So we’ll be just in time to be unjetlagged and party proof for New Years!

Strawberry kisses

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