New Zealand Trip - The Road to Coromandel
We were originally going to take my parents to Uluru, so timed my parents' visit to the cooler months in the Red Centre. When I started looking at hotel prices in Ayers Rock I got serious sticker shock and started thinking about a plan B. Jetstar had really good fares to Auckland around that time and so we ended up headed to New Zealand. Unfortunately this meant that it was a bit cooler than we would have liked but that didn't stop us from showing my parents how amazing that country is.
We started out by walking up Mt Eden in Auckland. It's apparently the highest volcano in Auckland (there are quite a few). It was a short hike to a big crater covered in green, and then just a bit further to the top. There we were rewarded with a great view of the city and several of the other volcanoes in the area.
|Looking across the crater to the op of Mt Eden|
|My parents and I with Auckland in the background|
|The surrounding town|
After that we headed South and down the coast along the Firth of Thames (in case you're wondering, a firth is an estuary or narrow inlet of the sea). It was a beautiful drive through bright green farmland and then along the coast. The water was my favourite shade of turquoise with just a few puffy clouds to accent the blue sky.
|And not a bad estuary either|
We stopped at the Cheese Barn in Matakoki for lunch. I'm always a sucker for cheese, but as an added bonus we also got visit with the resident alpacas. I was very excited to see them... until I tried to pet one and he bit my arm!
|This dude tried to eat me!|
We hit the road again and headed North towards Coromandel. We enjoyed some beautiful views of the coastline along the way.
|This scenery makes my mouth water|
We stopped at a view point just up the road from Coromandel and got to see the islands dotting McGregor Bay. How I wished I had a helicopter or a boat to explore them more!
|Look at those beautiful islands in the background|
|Making Phil smile for a picture|
In Coromandel we road on the Driving Creek Railway. It was a little train built by a crazy guy with more money than sense. He originally built it as a way to get clay down the hill to make pottery with, but when he ran out of money the bank suggested he let others ride it and charge admission.
|Four tickets to ride the crazy train|
|The point where the train stops and switches direction|
|View from the top of the train track|
|Tunnel made from brick made from clay from the mountain|
|Feeding Minty his bottle|
|Minty the Lamb|