Driving south through Auckland was crazy, even though it was a Saturday. The city looked beautiful as we passed by but the traffic was terrible, we were at a snails pace from Warkworth 58 km north of Auckland to Quarry Street exit 36 km to the south. Not sure what the problem was but it took us a couple of hours to cross the city.
Once we hit The Coromandel Peninsula the scenery changed completely. Following the coast north the narrow road is under repair from a high tide surge a few months ago which caused significant damage. Further along the drive takes you high up over part of the peninsula before coming back down to the coast.
Not sure if these power lines are ‘live’ but seems strange they were in the water along the coast.
We arrived at our lovely accommodation, Aotea Bed & Breakfast then dined at the delightful Pepper Tree Restaurant. The area is renowned for its seafood so we enjoyed Tuna Carpaccio followed by Local Fish with Prawn & Pea Risotto. Yummy!
Hot Water Beach is on the east of the Coromandel Peninsula is truely a hot water experience. Beachgoers dig themselves down to the hot springs on the beach and then relax in the hot water source….we tested the heat in one of the holes and were surprised at just how hot the water was in some places. Almost scalding in one area but relaxingly warm a few feet away. Very popular pastime all year around. As the tide was coming in the stinging blue jellyfish were washing up just waiting for the unexpecting tourists.
Our final stop was at the lovely Rapaura Watergardens. Set in a 60 acre private estate the garden meanders through native bush, water lily ponds and a rainforest walk leading to a small waterfall. Relaxing way to finish our visit to the Coromandel Peninsula.
Cyclone update from WeatherWatch NZ:
“As of 8:30pm Sunday Hola still had sustained winds of near 100km/h and gusts to 130km/h. This makes it Category 2 strength. By midnight tonight winds are estimated to be around 80km/h with gusts to 100km/h. The centre should be a few hundred kilometres north of Northland by midnight tonight with the storm tracking from the north west to the south east.”
It looks like the worst of the cyclone will be just to the east of the North Island so think we will only get some strong winds and quite a lot of rain…fingers crossed!!