New Zealand
Pitoti Stream

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    • Day 15

      Coromandel Peninsula

      January 23, 2023 in New Zealand ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

      Heading south our next stop is the Coromandel Peninsula, just across the Firth of Thames from Auckland.
      We start our tour of the peninsula with a visit to an old gold mine. There was a large Gold Rush in New Zealand in the late 1800s, Early Gold Rushers, seeing the riches coming from the South Island tried panning for gold in the rivers on the peninsula but had no success at all. Unlike the South Island, the North has never been through an Ice age so the gold is all still traped within quartz. Once they broke the quartz they could extract the gold and silver using Mercury and Cyinade, a very dangerous job. To break the quartz they needed heavy machinery called a battery, a group of volunteers at the mine we visited have rebuilt one that can be used today! Very noisy and impressive. None of the mines are still open today but it used to be the main activity in the area with some 800 batteries in operation, so loud the noise could be heard across the Firth in Auckland some 60km away. As every gold rush some miners were more lucky than others and it must have been a crazy place to live when the 8000 habitant town had 120 pubs and nearly as many brothels.

      Next day and we started with a little walk in the Forest of Coromandel situated at the heart of the peninsula. It is a forest set on the slopes of very steep little hills which gives us nice views between the trees. The king of trees here is named Kauri. It was plentiful in the late 1800 but after much logging surprisingly it is now rare to see an old tree. We manage to see a few and they are indeed beautiful. After the walk we continued north along the coastline which gives us amazing views on the Firth of Thames.

      After a good night sleep we went to check out a miniature railway experience we had heard about. It is incredible, a man in the late 1980s decided to build a miniture railway by himself to get to the top of the hill of his property. It took him 30 years to build! As he was an artist it is all very quirky and fun and a very good experience! Back on four wheels we headed towards the east coast with a quick stop at a few beaches on the way before the main event of Cathedral Cove, a set of large natural features created by water and wind carving the rocks. The biggest is similar to the Hole In the Rock except a lot closer to shore, at low tide it is possible to walk through it, it's essential a huge passage under limestone rock, with trees growing on top. Definitely worth the hour walk out to see it.

      Just down the road from the Cove is Hot Water beach, another natural phenomenon caused by hot spring located just under the surface of the sand and accessible at low tide. Lots of locals and tourists turn up with shovels to dig holes in the sand and bath in the warm waters. You have to pick your spot carefully though, too close to the centre of the springs and the water is too hot, near boiling, too far away and it's just cold sea water. Luckily for us we found an abandoned hole which was just right for us.

      The Coromandel Peninsula has been a lot of fun to explore, lots of natural beauty, geological wonders and an interesting history, a perfect place to spend a few action busy days.
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    • Day 22

      Eine Zugfahrt durch den Wald

      December 3, 2023 in New Zealand ⋅ 🌧 18 °C

      Heute ging’s von Miranda weiter nach Coromandel. Das waren ca. 100km Fahrt, wobei die Strecke sehr anspruchsvoll war. Enge Straßen, viel Verkehr, hoch und runter… 🙈
      Auf dem Weg dorthin haben wir einen Zwischenstopp beim Driving Creek Railway gemacht. Eine ganz kleiner Eisenbahn, die durch den Wald fährt. Sehr beeindruckend!! Wir sind mitten durch die Natur gefahren 😊
      Später waren wir noch kurz in der Stadt.

      Wetter war heute ziemlich bescheiden 💨🌧️☔️
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    • Day 23

      Regen, Regen, Regen ☔️🌧️☔️🌧️

      December 4, 2023 in New Zealand ⋅ 🌧 21 °C

      Heute hat es von morgens bis abends eigentlich nur geregnet. Trotzdem waren Mats und Christian im Pool auf dem Campingplatz und hatten ordentlich Spaß.

      Als es am Nachmittag kurz nicht geregnet hat, sind wir mit dem Wohnmobil zum Waiau Wasserfall gefahren. Dieser kleine Ausflug hat sich gelohnt und hat etwas Abwechslung in diesen verregneten Tag gebracht.

      Das Wetter soll in den nächsten Tagen wieder besser werden. Aber wenn wir hier eines in den ersten drei Wochen gelernt haben: die Wetter-Apps taugen hier nichts und das Wetter ist unberechenbar…🙈
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