Continuing with the over-indulgant photo overload, here’s a run down on what we got up to with my folks.
Picking Mum and Dad up at Tauranga airport on Sunday afternoon, we wasted no time in heading off that evening to Thames in the Coromandel Peninsula. The next morning we started our 7km ascent to the Pinnacles lookout (759m above sea level), although any hope of actually seeing anything when we got up there soon diminished as the clouds surrounded us. Not that we let that dampen our spirits.
Before reaching the lookout we had a quick rest and use of the toilets at the Pinnacles Hut, although this hadn’t come quite soon enough for a certain member of our group, who felt quite “degraded” by the whole experience… Anywho… I think we had broken Dad by this point, so he stayed at the hut while Mum, Laura and I went to the lookout. Still clinging to the faint hope that the clouds would miraculously dissappear, and as you can see, the views were SPECTACULAR.
Once back at sea level, we headed up the west coast to spend the night in Coromandel Town. The next day the sun made a brief apparearance as we spent a morning at New Chums beach, voted one the worlds top 10 beaches… Well its certainly not too shabby…
Next stop Whitianga, for a game of mini golf, lunch, and then on to Hahei and Cathedral Cove. The sea was far too rough for kayaking or the water taxi, so we walked along the coastal path instead.
Next morning we had a wander along the beach at Hahei, where there were hundreds of washed up pelagic nudibranch (Glaucus atlanticus). Fun fact, they eat Portugese man-of-war and incorporate the stinging cells into their tissue… so, basically, dont touch them.
Then it was back home to Tauranga, and for the rest of the week we crammed in as much as the weather would allow. In Rotorua we went, you guessed it, luging (although Laura has since stated that she needs a break), and walked among the Redwoods. Then we climbed the mount, swam in the sea (mum catching a few waves on the bodyboard – very impressed), kayaked in the pitch black and torrential rain to see glow worms on Lake McLaren, and ended Sunday with lovely walk in Mclaren Park.
And then just like that, it was time to say goodbye, Mum and Dad flew home, via a few days in Singapore, and we were FINALLY left in peace.