Since we have arrived in New Zealand this blog has been a bit rushed because of the time we have available on-line. Now that I am thinking a bit clearer, I realised that I can create this offline & then copy & paste (I know it’s obvious but it just takes time to trickle through).
Everyone we have met so far has been very friendly & helpful. At our first site, Manukau (www.manukautop10.co.nz), we bought a membership card for Top 10 Holiday parks which gives us a discount at each stop plus other benefits. On our first morning we were surrounded by loads of ducks (what is the collective noun for ducks?) looking for their breakfast.
Miranda Holiday Park really was in the middle of nowhere but like each site (so far) the facilities have been first class. Showers, toilets, kitchens etc. are all very clean and well managed.
Even though it was raining yesterday morning when we left Miranda, it soon cleared up and by the time we reached Thames it was bright and sunny. The journey from Thames to Coromandel stunning; for the first part the road hugged the coast (We videoed part of this and when I get time I will try & upload it – listen out for Sandra’s, ‘Oh my God’). After a while it went inland slightly and uphill. We pulled over at one point to take some photos – the views were tremendous. The picture of Sandra yesterday was taken at that stop. Eventually we reached Coromandel Town and parked up so we could have a look around – so far all parking has been free - I’ve not seen anywhere that has parking fees. We had lunch & I went into a bank to change some traveller’s cheques. In some ways it was like going back in time – The bank was modern & airy but the cashier actually had time to chat and seemed genuinely pleased to do that. She was able to give me directions to Driving Creek miniature railway (www.drivingcreekrailway.co.nz) which we wanted to see. When we arrived it was fully booked all day so we booked for the next day at 11:15am. Then it was on to Shelly Beach. After settling in and having a refreshing beer we walked down to the beach – it must be 50 yards away!! It was so peaceful that I went back to get our chairs (and another couple of beers) so we could sit & enjoy it.
We are now back at Shelly Beach – Sandra is having a kip – it’s been a hard day so far. We have booked powered sites for the next 3 nights. Tomorrow we travel down to Tauranga, staying at Papamoa Beach Resort (www.papamoabeach.co.nz) and on Sunday to Rotorua for a couple of nights.
I think we are up to date now but watch this space. Thanks for following us and we do read the comments.