We get a car and go to Cathedral Cove
Let’s go to Cathedral Cove Karen said right after we picked up our rental car. Meanwhile I was trying to figure out why everyone was driving on the wrong side of the road. Or was it me on the wrong side? I white-knuckled my way through city streets for a while as Karen cringed in the passenger seat and delivered reminders of, “left, LEFT, LEFT.
Somehow we made it out of Auckland. To our advantage it was a New Zealand’s equivalent of the Fourth of July and traffic was light. Light until we hit the expressway. It seemed everyone was bailing out of town for the long holiday weekend, and we of course were headed to one of the great scenic and beach areas of a country whose name should be New Senicland.
The Coromandel Peninsula lies across the Hauraki Gulf to the east of Auckland. A mountain range runs up the middle with artsy resort towns along both its east and west shores. Cathedral Cove is about 110 miles from Auckland.
So there I went driving on the wrong side of the road 110 miles out and 110 back. The good news was that Eisa has lent us her GPS to use while we are in New Zealand. We’ll mail it back to her from ChristChurch before we leave. You can’t get that kind of help from a hotel. Yea Airbnb and especially Eisa. The bad news I was still driving on the wrong side of the road.
The drive up the Peninsula was beautiful. The road was twisty and full of switchbacks as we negotiated our way over the heights and through valleys. The trees and plants were sometimes familiar looking, and sometimes made you think you had slipped into a scene from Jurassic Park.
After three hours we got to the little town of Hahei, the jumping off place for Cathedral cove. What we didn’t know is how hard it would be to get to the Cove. First there is virtually no parking. So Karen and I went down to the Hahei beach where you could get a water taxi to the cove. The price–$25 each–seemed a bit steep, so we went back to edge of town where you could park for free and take a bus for the short drive to the Cove entrance. The price of $3 a head round trip seemed just right until the bus driver wished us an enjoyable walk as we exited the bus. His smile said it all.
A mile and a half later of steep ups and downs and countless steps we arrived at the Cove. It was a walk I was thinking I could have done without as we stepped onto the beach. Then I remembered I had to walk back to the bus stop. For a moment I thought living on the beach for the rest of my life.
Cathedral Cove is gorgeous, and yes it is worth the walk. I won’t try to describe it. I’ll let the pictures do the talking.
Yes, we are about to walk out of a tunnel from one beach to the next.
That’s Karen standing next to her new favorite rock.