Beaches For Days

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We were in for a treat as we headed further north on our Coromandel road trip.  Cruising out of Whitianga, we were recommended to visit a few bays a bit further round the peninsular.

The first we arrived at was the very picturesque Kaoutuno Beach.  A stunning stretch of beach, that was really untouched and there was barely a soul around, with the exception of the little restaurant near the beach.

Then we did some off-roading.  A pretty treacherous dirt track lead us round to a gorgeous bay… the sand was pure white and the colour of the water was like something you’d expect in the Indian Ocean. Again it was pretty much deserted, so we played in the waves, chased each other around the beach and soaked in the views.

Next up was Whangapoua, which was the stop off to access the very famous New Chums Beach.  This place has ranked as one of the top beaches in the world by the likes of National Geographic and Lonely Planet.

It can only be accessed by a bit of a boulder walk across some rocks and through some native bush.  

Could this be done with a 3 year old realistically?  Fin absolutely smashed it!  He was so excited about finding the secret beach that a few boulders weren’t going to get in his way!  He held his dad’s hand and we all made steady progress around the coastline. As we emerged from the jungle, the view opened up to reveal New Chums.  We had made it, and it really was beautiful.  It’s definitely not the hidden secret it once was… there were certainly a fair few people there camped up for the day… but it was still a special spot, so wild and unspoilt.  Not a single building or development in sight.  It was amazing to see… people around here have clearly fiercely protected this little spot.  We splashed in the waves to cool off at this little piece of paradise, before we set off back across the boulders to the campervan.

We found it tricky to locate a good little camping spot for the night, so we continued winding around the hills in the direction of Coromandel Town.

On arrival, we found a swimming spot, grabbed a hot shower and then pulled up for the night, by the side of a pretty little stream.  We dined alfresco by the side of the babbling stream and grabbed an early night, ready for the last leg of our road trip.

Driving this western section of the Coromandel, everything felt a lot different.  The coast road was right at the water’s edge for a large part of it.  But the little resorts became few and far between and there weren’t as many desirable places to stop, it was feeling a bit random.

On our way to Thames, things had grown tense in the van, we were falling out ridiculously over our opinions of tinned potatoes!  It was one of those mornings.  Not sure really why, but it was getting a bit heated, so we went silent for a while.  Fin was probably thinking, what on earth are these two on about!  It was during this silent part of our journey that we had a MASSIVE reality check.  

Still fuming from our ridiculous debate, we passed an incident on a picnic site at the side of the road.  It looked like a little boy was in trouble, he had adults surrounding him, and it really didn’t look good to be honest.  We couldn’t work out if he had fallen in the water and was being resuscitated or if there had just been a terrible accident, but it certainly looked grave.  Seconds later, an ambulance flew past us; so we are hopeful the boy received treatment and pulled through.

In that passing moment, we were reminded of the fragility of life.  In the blink of an eye, everything can change. We sometimes get caught up in things that really don’t matter in the grand scheme; we’re only human after all. And in that instant, we had a reality check, as a genuine emergency was unfolding in such close proximity.  A reminder that none of the trivial stuff matters whatsoever.  

I put my arms around Fin, extra tight.  

If friggin’ potatoes were about the worst thing we had to debate… we were the fortunate ones.

We pulled over as soon as we could, and had a team cuddle.  We hit reset on the day, making the most of our coastal road trip, and quietly sent our thoughts to that little boy by the water.

Our final stopover on this road trip was a place that we remember from our last visit, Miranda Hot Pools.  Hopeful that the campsite was just as good all these years later, we checked in and set up camp for the night.  It was just as good, actually better!

For the next 3 nights, we chilled around the resort.  On average taking 3-4 dips in the hot mineral lagoon pool, which was pure heaven.  Fin and his dad sped around the site on awesome trikes, pulling handbrake skids and doing donuts (like a pair of big kids!).  The weather was perfect and we relaxed for those lovely few days enjoy the simplest of things.  

Jen Skehan