Yesterday, we made our way down the coast from Orewa to Coromandel, visiting beautiful Rapaura Water Gardens at Tapu en route (www.rapaura.com)..

The tail end of the cyclone followed us down the coast, so it was a damp day.

Today, we walked the Coromandel Coastal Walkway on a trip run by Coromandel Discovery – www.coromandeldiscovery.co.nz.  From Fletcher Bay, it is a 3 – 4 hr 10km self-guided trek over to Stony Bay with a pick up back to Coromandel Town.

We stopped off at Colville on the way to Fletcher Bay.  The population is only 70 there – they have a great little general store stocking everything from organic potatoes to fishing tackle and a myriad of other useful bits and pieces – a bit of a godsend for this remote little community.

The peninsula road up the coast is unmade for most of the way making the trip a bit of a bone shaker.  The route is fringed with majestic pohutukawa trees, some over 1000 years old.

What worries the people up here?

Kiwi extinction – no dogs are allowed on the walking trails to protect these increasingly endangered little birds.

Loss of the native kauri trees – diseases are earth borne, so they are meticulous about cleaning your boots at the start and end of a walk.  Our walking boots were sprayed with disinfectant when we landed at the airport.

Immigration – especially from China – is driving up property prices.

Drowning is apparently the biggest cause of death in New Zealand.  We drove through a deep ford and clambered over many streams on the walk today, but thankfully arrived back at Coromandel Town safe and sound.

Highlights:
Walking through the dense bush forest – a multitude of different greens and a lovely fresh smell as we squashed the damp undergrowth and ferns.  We saw very few people on the walk – but two of those we did se were walking barefoot – getting in touch with nature this way is all the rage here, apparently!

Foodie firsts:
Gurnard was the catch of the day for our fish and chip supper at The Coromondel Hotel (nicknamed Top Pub as it is the furthest to walk – why did we pick that one after a 10k walk?!)

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