Coromandel, NZ is Sold Out? Stay in Hamilton.

One of the busiest times to visit Coromandel is in December.  Everyone is holidaying at their beach homes or renting a house.  Hotels get sold out early and you should not expect to find an airbnb to rent.  We traveled from Australia and we had no idea how crazy busy it was going to be after Christmas and before New Years.  Our plan was to drive the north coast and see as much as we could in only 3-4 days.  With no vacancy in resort towns, Coromandel, Rotorua, and Tauranga we discovered Hamilton. We spent our first night in Auckland, two nights in Hamilton, and our final night in Auckland again.  Driving to our desired destinations took an hour or two from where we went to rest our heads each day, but it was worth all of the driving.  In fact, all of the driving is part of the touring.

Hamilton is a quaint little city with a ton of overnight hotel/inns available.  I recommend staying at the award winning Argent Motor Lodge.  The owner, Graeme Hunt, welcomed us when we checked in and made us feel at home.  I didn’t know what to expect before we arrived and I’m please to report that I was blown away with the interior, its upkeep and the staff.

 

Unfortunately, the city shuts down quite early.  We were excited to see what was happening in the town and have a good meal.  We heard about restaurants like, Bluestone Steakhouse, but when we arrived at 9:30 they told us they were closed because they had not received any walk-ins for the last 30 minutes.  There were only about 3 restaurants open at this point, which included Sal’s Pizza, Kebabelicious and some other spot we had no interest in going into.  We loved Kebabelicious for the quality of the food, speed, hospitality and ambiance.

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Aaaaah Piha

If you love beaches and you have looked at possibly visiting New Zealand then you likely have heard of Piha Beach.  This is a world famous surfers beach 40 km west of Auckland.  A friend had told us to “hire a car”, that’s kiwi speak for “rent a car”, upon arrival in Auckland and start touring around as much as possible.  I absolutely loved the drive along the coast, but it wasn’t easy.  First off, we were driving on the left side of the road and the driver’s seat is on the right and to top it off we were driving up the mountain and many times we were so close to the edge, I feared for my life.  Be encouraged though, as the drive is worth the eye-popping experience.  You will see lush green hills and valleys with abundance of wildlife including sheep, cows, and alpacas.  You will make windy turns up and down the hills and finally come down to Piha.  When we arrived I felt my mind and spirit reach a state of calm.  I thought, “aaaaaaaaah, Piha”.

Piha Beach is a beautiful black sand beach surrounded by enormous cliffs.  I’m not a fan of black sand though, it was too hot and I had to keep my flip-flops on so I didn’t burn the soles of my feet. After spending some time on the beach, we took a hike up the rock to have a beautiful aerial view.  You will also find secluded beach areas.  Be careful though the sea here can be vicious and life threatening.

Visiting this place from Auckland is an easy short and sweet day trip.

 

 

 

I am so thankful that I connected with this part of the world.  All praises and glory to God.

 

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