Friday, November 28, 2014

Kauaeranga Valley

The next day was a bit of a lazy day…..

Then on Thursday I headed back to Thames for my appointment with the nurse for the first of my Hepatitis vaccinations. It was a slow trip out, but we had paused in Coromandel for me to empty tanks and have morning tea. We also went for a bit of a tiki tour around the area. We headed out towards the wharf and then up one of the side roads…..steep, windy and narrow but quite an amazing view of the various islands and bays close by. The bay at the end of the road was quite pretty as well.


From there we headed into Thames to stock up on fruit and veges and then move into the Kauaeranga Valley for a couple of nights before heading back to Auckland.

On arrival I found that I couldn’t head all the way up as there had been a slip so met Brenda and Roger at the first campsite after the visitors centre, Hotoritori. It is the start of a 15 min walk and a series of small mountain bike tracks.

On Friday morning the weather packed up and we became inundated with school pupils from St Peter’s Cambridge as they were finishing up their school camp. They had walked down from the next campsite as the busses couldn’t get past the slip area. There were 5 large busses arrived to take them away.


We walked up the road in the rain to have a look at the slip area and see how far up the road we could get.

It was quite a successful walk as we ended up collecting 24 tent pegs that had been left by the school pupils! I spent about 15 mins straightening most of them but now have a great collection of spare pegs!

Today (Saturday) I am going to do the bike rides but am waiting for the temperature to rise slightly, it was quite chilly this morning. Now that the sun is out I am going to head out. Trip report to come.


Had a lovely trip around the trails. Managed to do most of them, just missed a few of the double backs. Nice track and well maintained. Not huge and managed to do it in about 1 1/2 hours. Well worth the trip.

So after a lovely lunch the decision was made to move on as the weather was not really conducive to long walks and it would be a very long walk up to where we wanted to go as we were restricted by the slip and couldn’t drive up.

So farewell to Brenda and Roger as they headed back home and I headed across the Firth of Thames to Ray’s Rest for the night then heading towards Auckland again to finalise things for Christmas.

So updating blogs, answering emails and texts from being out of coverage for a few days…..

Safe travels everyone….

Waikawau and Fish!

We went for a walk up the mountain bike track yesterday! Well it is one that I for one will NOT be riding, it was tough enough to walk, but there was a lovely grove of young kauri on the first ridge. Worth the slog to see them. The Kennett brothers mountain bike book mentions this track in passing…

“It’s hard to be grumpy in such a beautiful part of the world, unless you’re trying to ‘ride’ a really poxy track”.

Last night I had met a lovely German guy who was walking his way around the Coromandel. He had not enjoyed the trip from Port Jackson to Stony Bay as it was a great deal further than he had been led to believe. I had seen him arrive with a pack on his back and a smaller one on his chest! Anyway after dinner I was doing the dishes with Brenda (I use my hot water for doing most of the dishes) and I had gone out to ask if he would like to do his dishes in some hot water. He was very grateful and we got to chatting about his journey and some of the better places to see in New Zealand. He was currently hitch hiking around and I realised that he was going to have a hard job getting a ride out of Stony Bay so I recommended that he go and ask a couple of people to see if he could hitch a ride out. He found a ride with a lovely family from Switzerland who with their two children were here for 7 weeks. I was quite horrified at how woefully unprepared or rather uninformed he was about conditions and distances in New Zealand. Still he must be just one of many who do what he is doing and they seem to survive and go back and tell their friends because they keep on coming!

Today (Tuesday) it was decided that we would move slightly southwards to Waikawau Bay for a change of scenery and see how the fishing was.

Waikawau is a lovely large Dept of Conservation Campsite alongside a lovely sandy bay still on the eastern side of the Coromandel Peninsular.

The lovely couple that are currently managing it, Tim and Liz are lovely people and we are currently nestled into a lovely spot at the far end of the camp, near where the old entrance was. We have been told that the old house and office were flooded out with a spring tide combined with a bit of a storm. So a new office and admin building was built higher up at the other end of the camp and looks great.

Just out of interest, although at Stony Bay I had Spark coverage, there is no coverage here with either Spark or Vodafone so this will have to wait til Thursday for posting! (Ed note: actually Saturday….)

So after lunch I decided to launch the kayak and see what was out there. There had been good reports of fish being caught.

My thanks to my sister for the pictures…..

So I headed out towards the reef on the southern end of the bay and managed to catch a lovely John Dory.


Roger made a lovely batter and I cooked the six lovely fillets that we got off it and had them as an first course for dinner. Was lovely. I must say it is a fish that you catch for eating not for the fight that it gives. It was a very boring catch in that respect, no fight at all. But am not complaining at all it was very nice.

Tomorrow will be a walk, a fish or a lazy day….mmm can’t decide….

Safe travels!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Day Spent Fishing

Today (Saturday) started out with a little rain, but cleared up so washing was done and hung out, date scones made for morning tea and then Roger and I went fishing after lunch…


And 5 hours or so later, we came home…..

Empty handed and had smoked chicken with veges for dinner! Still another day tomorrow. This fishing thing is not going well so far this trip but we had an enjoyable day anyway.

So a couple of days since last post and Thursday was a bit more productive as we went for a walk towards Fletcher Bay and got about 1/3 of the way there.


It was a lovely walk of about 1 1/2 hours each way with a lovely view from the point where we turned around. Great Barrier Island in the far distance.


There were some lovely views for the track and it was a very easy grade.

It was a nice walk and we came across some lovely plants, waterfalls and views on the way there and back

On the way back we encountered an interesting thing…


and low and behold right in the middle of the track was…


They are upgrading the entire track through to Fletcher Bay. The first time for 14 years.

Yesterday was also a lovely day and we went kayak fishing….

Unfortunately the only fish was caught by Brenda was a foul hooked Leather Jacket, which Roger had for his lunch.

After arriving back there was a helicopter landed in the field loading or unloading supplies and then it took off again up into the hills….

So the nasty weather really has not eventuated and we have had some breezy, gusty conditions but it has been fine mainly and rather pleasant. Tonight is a rather orange evening so tomorrow is looking good as well.

The campsite is filling up with people and cars and motorcyclists so we are loosing our nice peaceful spot!

Tomorrow might be a walk to the western side of the bay and a walk out to the point for some fishing …or not, one never knows what the day might bring.

Safe travels everyone.