Yesterday we headed South to the Coromandel Peninsula at around 9am. We got to Cathedral Cove at lunchtime with a chilly bag full of deliciousness for a picnic. We were meeting up with friends – one of them lives just by Cathedral Cove and another lives in Paeroa, which is comfortably accessible to Coromandel.
My love affair with Coromandel started in the late year summer of 2009, when I was doing a huge road trip with some friends of mine all the way from Christchurch up the West coast and then up the East coast of the North island. We stopped off to visit our friend in Whenuakite, just for two nights, I think, and it really wasn’t long enough at all.
We stayed in his parents’ woolshed which was at the end of a long, narrow, winding gravel road. It was in the middle of native forest, and at night you could hear kiwis calling (for any non-New Zealanders, that’s a big deal. It’s our national bird, but there’s only a few hundred left in the wild). We went to the surrounding beaches – Hot Water Beach (where there’s a hot spring under the sand, and if you dig down into it you can make a sort of spa pool to sit in), Hahei, Cathedral Cove and New Chums Beach. New Chums was by far the most beautiful – it’s not well known, and it’s about a 45 minute walk in that you can only really do at low tide as you have to cross a river. But it’s supposed to be one of the top ten beaches in the world, and it really is incredible.
We went back at the end of the summer, six of us, to stay in the woolshed (which was really a proper house that sleeps about fifteen if you need it to) for a week. And we did all the beaches, plus more (maybe I’ll document them here sometime).
For our picnic yesterday, I chose Cathedral Cove for two reasons: firstly, it’s an absolute paradise, and secondly, it’s about an hour’s drive closer than New Chums Beach. The water was absolutely freezing, but we went swimming anyway, and enjoyed it, damnit.
A tui on a flax bush.
Rosemary and potato flatbread (homemade, of course).
Cheeseball: homemade cream cheese, mixed with grated cheddar, chopped apricots, cranberries, raisins, peanuts and walnuts.
The feast! So much deliciousness in such beautiful scenery, it’s probably not allowed.
Beware of falling rocks! (We were with a geologist and he said it was OK.)
Walking out through the ‘cathedral’.
Obligatory beautiful scenery shot on the walk out (which is horrific. Steep and long and so much worse than the walk in because there’s no beach at the end!).
Beautiful scenery shot 2 + camwhoring. Fringe is insane.
Beautiful scenery shot 3.
Just realised I’ve no pictures of the actual beach. What a tosser … I shall find some from my previous trips and put them up. Watch this space!