Leaving the NorthlandMay 10, 2018 in New Zealand ⋅ 🌙 15 °C
I could spend weeks in the Northland I believe. The Northland is what they call they north part of the north island, I have deduced. It's rather a tropical paradise. Very moist. This morning was a heavy dew and thick fog over Waiwera.
We stayed in another little park with a big gate the locked at 7p. Our new camping goal is to always find a campground before 5.30p. It typically is getting dark by 6p, and then things get tricky. Swamp chickens were fearlessly everywhere this morning, and I finally got some good photos of the odd screamy things. We breakfasted on a bench overlooking the bay beside our camping spot. A quick breakfast of kiwi, feijoas, and bush honey on yogurt. With coffee and unhomogenized milk. Yum.
Due to time constraints, we decided to cut our visit to Hot Water beach, which was on the northern tip of the Coromandel Peninsula. It looks amazing, but there's just so much to do, we decided to concentrate on things that aren't big drives out and back. So we headed straight to the little town of Te Aroha.
It's at the base of Mt. Te Aroha, which is a Maori word for Love. It's a restored Edwardian era spa town and is quite charming. Tomorrow we'll hike to the top of Mt. Te Aroha, and do some exploring around the spa complex.
This evening we were checking it out, and soaked our feet in the free foot soaking spa they had on the hillside. This region is less tropical, and you can see that it is actually fall. Ginko leaves are turning yellow and lovely.
Aside from some early curfews, we've been having great luck with camp sites. Because it's the shoulder season, nothing is booked up. Tonight we're staying in Te Aroha Holiday Park, which is said to be one of the last classic holiday partks in the area. I don't know exactly what that means in context, but the buildings do seem to be of an oder architecture, and the place is quaint and fun.
I spent a little time reading my book in a hammock. Then Nate & I played on their playground while we were waiting for their hot spring to open. The play ground says it's for children, but it was honestly quite intimidating for adults to conquor. It's made of huge logs and metal rope. There's no rubber padding or safety anything. It was quite fun and the danger was a little thrilling. They also had old bicycle pedal 'go-karts', and a huge zip line! Included for free. That was really pretty terrifying. I sat on a handmade wooden disk on a knot in a rope and stepped off a very high platform. I wasn't exactly sure what would happen at the end. I thought I might slow down, but I didn't at all. There was a telephone beam with a pad strapped on it ahead of me, but before I hit it, a spring above me caught me, and then shot me backward! I called Nate over to come grab the rope so I could stop moving and get off.
After all of this terrifying fun, their hot spring pool was open. I pretty much picked this site as it included a free hot spring soak. They open up their natural hot spring pool for only about 2 hours every evening.I thought everyone else must've picked this campground for the same reason, and so I was stressing to hurry up and be the first in the pool before it filled up with other campers. But to my surprise & delight, we had the whole thing to ourselves the whole time.Read more