Our final week together in Byron the van so we wanted to make it one to remember and headed to the Coromandel.
It was a week filled with walking on white sandy beaches and collecting the most amazing seashells.
New Zealand felt so cold in comparison to Australia, so when I heard about Hot Water Beach with natural 65 degree springs it became a must do location. We headed down just before sunrise and at low tide in order to find the springs, you could see where they are because of the steam rising from the sand.
We borrowed a spade from one of the locals and Edd dug away whilst I eagerly waited to get in and warm up. The water was so hot that we actually had to let the sea water in so that the pools were bearable. It was super amazing sat in the sand watching the sunrise through the steam, it was definitely worth getting up early for.
Cathedral Cove was another highlight, walking 45 minutes to a small beach and seeing the rugged archway that has formed in the cliff. Edd was in photography heaven, which was wonderful to see.
Staying in a campervan has been amazing, parking up in secluded spots by the beach and hearing the waves crash at night is something we will always remember.
The van has been our home, shelter, bed, kitchen, security, transport, kitchen and most importantly dependable friend. I hope that this is the start of more campervan adventures to come.
It was quite a shock for both of us landing into Auckland, the 36 degree days had been replaced with 16 degree days! Once we landed and found our hostel we headed for an explore of Auckland for the night.
The next day we took a four hour bus journey to visit some friends who live in Mount Maunganui. This was our first real insight into the landscape, which is extremely reminiscent of Wales, quite freaky at first.
Mount Maunganui was great fun, strolling on the beach and soaking in the hot pools, whilst catching up with friends. The next day we headed to a Gorge for a walk. But the weather had a different idea deciding that it was time we experienced a cyclone. We had a quick walk around the Gorge but our clothes were soaked through to our skin.
The next day we sat and patiently waited for the cyclone to hit, it was very wet and windy. We took a look at the beach and the waves were huge and messy and to our surprise there were people out surfing!
On our final morning the sun was out and we headed for a stroll up the ‘Mount’ before getting the bus back to Auckland, ready for our flight to Christchurch.
It was interesting walking around Christchurch, in places it was so evident that the devastating 2011 earthquake had taken place, there were buildings just empty and lots of brand new ones that were appearing in their place.
We used the couple of days here to get things in place ready for picking up our campervan. Trying to think of where to head first, where to stay and easy meals that could be cooked on a camping stove.
It was so exciting to finally pick up ‘Byron’ the campervan, as we have affectionately named him. After all it was one of our favourite places in Australia, so any reminder is a good one.
It finally felt like we could now explore and start our road trip!