Days 59 to 63: Coromandel peninsula to Auckland and Spaceship drop-off!
The time had come – Day 63 was finally here! Time to say goodbye to Draco . . .
Let me take you back to a few days before that and our last few days in our lovely spaceship. We had now been in our spaceship (check out Spaceships website for more info) for almost 9 weeks and the last part of our adventure was to come. We left Rotorua, and took the long drive north to Whitianga. Once passing nearby to Thames the road soon became much windier and the scenery prettier. Back in 2010 we visited the Coromandel peninsula on our honeymoon (staying in Hahei) and loved the pure beauty of the area, so decided to come back and stay a few days in our Spaceship. We were basing ourselves in Whitianga this time around (as last time Hahei was very beautiful, but completely dead off season) as we could do day trips from here.
As you will see from our photos unfortunately we were really unlucky with the weather – although did have a beautifully sunny last day. Despite the wind and rain we made the most of every second of our time there. We spent time in Whitianga, and also drove over to Hot water beach and despite having missed the chance to dig a hot pool on the beach (because of either very early or very late low tide times) we still loved walking up the beach and taking a few photos.
On a very wet day we decided to take the scenic 309 drive over towards Coromandel with the plan to loop back round the top stopping at Whangapoua beach. This road was mostly gravel and pretty windy and despite John having driven on so many crazy NZ roads this was a bit of a test even for him! We had planned to walk to Waiau falls, but the track was closed for repairs, so we had to make do with a glimpse from above. As it was so wet the road was quite muddy and our spaceship got a bit dirty! Although this was soon washed away by the rain later that day.
Heading back to Whitianga we headed for Whagapoua beach and even in the rain this was one of the most beautiful beaches we had been to! The rain was pretty heavy by this time and the wind very strong, but we got out the car, braving the weather and walked down the steps to the completely deserted beach. We absolutely loved wandering all over the beach – there is something about a deserted beach in the wind and rain that we really love!
On our last morning – day 63 – we awoke to the bright sun shining down on us, and we were delighted as hadn’t seen it for quite a few days! We decided to head to Hahei on our way back to Auckland. The beach here is absolutely stunning and we parked up our Spaceship and spent time sitting on the beach enjoying the beautiful weather and gorgeous scenery.
We spent time reflecting on our 9 weeks in the spaceship – the incredible highs and a few lows, but wouldn’t have changed a thing. The next post I will write will be a review of our time in the spaceship. Next stop after Hahei was Auckland – where we headed to the Penrose depot to drop off Draco. As always Spaceships’ customer service was awesome and the drop off was very easy – although we were very sad to say goodbye to Draco. They called us a taxi which picked us up to take us to Auckland for the next chapter of our NZ adventure 🙂