By: Blonde Two

I know that I live in Devon and that we have lots and lots of lovely beaches but it is always exciting to dip your toes into a sea that is not yours, into a sea that smells different, into another man’s ocean.  I managed to dip my jeans in as well but enjoyed the experience nonetheless.

Hahei Paddle

The Coromandel Peninsula is separated from the rest of the North Island of New Zealand by the Firth of Thames and although it can be seen from Auckland on a clear day, it is a bit of a drive around to Thames (not the London river) and up over the Coromandel Range (lots of very volcanic looking hills covered in temperate rain forest).  It is a drive, however, that is worth doing – the scenery on the way over is like nothing else I have ever seen and when you reach the Pacific coast, the beaches take your breath away.

Hahei Beach Light

The unusual hill and island shapes here can be explained by the complicated geology. I am a bit too Blonde to understand it all but know that it includes some mountain folding (clever stuff) when the ranges were originally created and two separate volcano (hot stuff) sessions.

Hahaei GrassesWe are staying at Hahei (Har-Hey) for a couple of nights and I can see the Pacific out of my bedroom window.  This is almost as exciting as being able to see Dartmoor out of my bedroom window at home.  The great thing about coming to New Zealand in the winter is that there are even less people around than usual.  We went for a paddle/read/snooze on the beach this afternoon and saw a grand total of four other people.  Interestingly though, we did spot two cheeky yellow Jelly Babies canoodling on the rocks!

Jelly Babies Coromandel 2