Tori and I felt very grown up going to pick our car up the next day. This lasted as far as asking for our car at the wrong rental place and having to walk back past the hostel and around the other side.
We did finally make it and picked up our lovely Nissan Tilda. After quickly getting to grips with the foot hand brake (what) and we were off. Well, I was off and desperately trying to navigate Auckland city. Having driven in London I was used to traffic. But after, also, being in NZ for two months I was also used to NO CARS. Suddenly, there were tonnes. And, also, unnecessarily complicated roads. We did, however, make it to Countdown to grab supplies for the road. I then passed the keys over to Tori as she assured me she was confident driving cities.
A few lane hopping moments later and we were on highway 16 out of the city.
The journey passed with the ease and with a lot of singing of One Direction and Taylor Swift. Bliss. The first thing we saw of the Coromandel was the bright blue sea that stretched out in front of us as we peered over forest and cliff.
We soon found our lovely little hostel, Backpackers on the Beach, which stood right on the beach in Whitanga. Feeling very smug we parked up and found our room.
Having a car is a very freeing and a handy way to travel. But this particular car ate, no, guzzled petrol and you soon find yourself shouting at the dashboard as the needle dramatically drops.
The first thing we noticed was the oven- we can finally cook properly. Then we noticed a very timid girl cowering in her room. Turns out it was her first time staying in a hostel and travelling and she thought I was very brave washing my face in the sink.
The sun was shining in full force and so we had to get to Cathedral Cove to see it in it’s full glory.
After some amazing parallel parking, that took both of our efforts we made the wall down to the beach. Here a gigantic arched cavern passes through a white rock headland to join two secluded coves. The cathedral-like arch gives whole area an air of grandeur. It is stunning but surrounded by people desperately trying to get the same picture.
We decided to go through the arch onto the other beach. Others were doing it by walking purposefully through the water or running. You had to time it right with the waves. On the way out it was fine, I led the way and we didn’t get our clothes wet.
Then on the way back Tori led and for some unknown reason, I just can’t comprehend, she decided to not run but freeze mid way round as a wave hurtled towards us. Despite my desperate and loud pleas for her to move she merely continued her journey slowly to the beach as more waves hit me. Her theory? She would have got wet anyway if she ran as she would have splashed herself. I was dripping. Cheers T.
We soon dried off on the walk back and headed back in the car along the coast.
Cooks Beach boasts some of NZ’s oldest history. Captain Cook sailed on the HMS Endeavour into Mercury Bay in 1769 and made anchor at Cooks Beach. It’s also just happens to be a rather nice long white sandy beach, which is of course what really matters.
The sun was beginning to go in and our tired eyes were closing. So it was that our beds called, not before a group viewing of New Zealand’s own Avatar though!