Back to the Beach!December 16, 2018 in New Zealand ⋅ ☀️ 24 °C
We left a Rotorua at around 8:30 this morning, bound for a Tauranga, a lovely beach town only 85 twisty, winding kilometres away! We stopped about halfway to take a look at Mangorewa Kaharoa Gorge - interesting that during WW2, the New Zealanders placed tank road blocks along the road in this area as they feared the Japanese would send tanks over to NZ and wanted to be prepared to stop them from getting through. We continued on to the town of Tauranga and parked in the city centre to have a look around. Very pretty waterfront area so we walked along the boardwalk in the beautiful sunshine. It appeared there were going to be events going on today as we saw clowns on stilts walking the streets, and an interesting fellow with an old tv over his head and a microphone, singing the praises of NZ rugby? Check him out in the pic - looks like Michael Moore!
We drove across the bridge to the peninsula on the other side of Tauranga, which is where our apartment is, and since we were too early to check in, walked along the beautiful beaches for an hour or so. We got to a place called Moturiki Recreation Reserve - from a distance, this looks like an island, but is accessible from the beach and has a hiking trail, so we hiked out to the end for some amazing views of the ocean and the nearby Mount Maunganui. In the 60’s, there used to be a Marineland on this reserve, and then in the 80’s, natural swimming pools were built into what used to be a quarry. Unfortunately, both of these attractions are no more, but it was interesting to read about and see old photos of them! There are lots of lovely trees here with red blooms that flower around this time of year, and they are known as New Zealand Christmas trees - quite a few of them on the reserve with an amazing ocean backdrop!
We checked into our apartment around 1:30, then went back to the Main Street on the beach to have lunch. Got back, put on some laundry, then headed to the pool for a couple of hours of r & r!! We had decided to eat in tonight, so picked up some veggies, cheese, crackers, fruit and quiche, and had a nice dinner on our deck! Because we are on a peninsula, there was the opportunity to see the sun set from Pilot Bay, so we grabbed a towel (and maybe some wine 😜) and sat on the beach to watch the sun go down. Sadly the clouds came in, but we still had a pretty nice view from our vantage point. Getting up early tomorrow to hike up Mount Maunganui!Read more