So all the way back in February, we headed off for a week in one of our fave places. Now the lead up to this trip was quite an event. We wanted to take the van, but the van needed new breaks, said breaks ordered from the UK and imported (strange but true - tis cheaper to do it this way than buy here!) Breaks fitted and all good..the day we are due to leave, Adam has to fit a panel underneath the van (I'm lost at this point) anyhoo he notices leakage - oh my - the break hose from the reservoir, this becomes a major thingy and even I try to help and get covered in break fluid. Thankfully a new bit of this hose can be obtained here so the next day Adam has it all sorted (secretly I think he likes it when things go wrong, as he loves to fix them). Off we go.
The Coromandel Peninsular is where we head, we spend our first night in Thames, one of the largest towns there. A small but just fine campsite slightly out of town - with the best recycling facilities I've come across yet. We have our bikes, so a trip round the town it is. To be honest this stop is all because there is a shop here we both love, we spend money, we have coffee we cycle back and relax. The next day before heading onto Coromandel Township we tour the goldmine and have a bash at gold panning as well as being generally fascinated by the whole tour.
Coromandel town is a fave spot. We again camp out of the town, at an end of the road campsite, which is quite full. The Kiwis love to camp. We're right by the water and can watch the comings and goings of the boats. We read, we eat, we relax. Adam tries to teach me to fish!!! Again we cycle into the town and onto the Driving Creek Railway. All quite busy, summer tourists everywhere. We take a repeat spot photo and spend more time at the cafe of joy just down the road.
The van gives us more challenge and several garages our visited and a call to the AA. In the end Adam fixes the problem - at least to make driving on these roads safe - with a bit of plastic pen. I'm not really sure what was happening, something to do with idle spend. Heh ho, we're safe and off we go. Over the mountains, round the bends......
Arrive at Hahei campsite, pick a spot (ooh quite busy here too) get changed jump in the sea. I love a campsite by the beach and a great beach to boot. We snorkel at gemstone bay, walk with the crowds to Cathedral Cove (must come back again out of season). Eat lots, drink lots, read lots.....heaven
This trip marked us sleeping in van for the first time in years. Our VW is an ever ongoing project and has been curtainless for some time. Curiously I forgot some of the curtains but we made do and all was good. I had some initial 'oh boy I'm in a coffin' moment but actually it was all fine, we slept well. The trick being no sleeping bags, just sheets, so you do have more room to move.
Sadly we head home after a week of sun, sea, wonderful beach, reading, eating. All the joy that a holiday should bring. As in the UK, we usually travel out of season and although the school holidays were over it was still summer and still 'busy'. This gave us a different feel and we chatted to loads of people - everyone wants to talk about the van. I sent loads of postcards and as ever wished I could share it with friends and family, this little post will have to do......
So Auckland celebrates the chinese new year in great style. The Lantern festival blew us away last year, so we were keen to go back for more. All good again. We went later in the night so the crowds were huge, but we left late so traffic clamer on leaving (boy that makes me sound old and sad). Food was fascinating as ever and a good time had by all. Yet again I manged to refrain from buying any lanterns or other chinese items!!