During the middle weekend in my stay in New Zealand I visited the Coromandel Peninsula, which meant an early start and a 3 hour drive, but it was worth it for the scenery. The goal of the trip was to see the magnificent Cathedral Cove; a secluded beach where a large archway has been carved into the cliff face creating a cathedral-like space in the rock. You can only reach the cove by boat or by foot, so we opted for the latter and followed the weaving path through the ferns and made the descent down to the beach.
I was actually surprised by how many people there were on the beach, considering it was overcast and quite difficult to get to – there were even a couple of lifeguards on duty! Visiting Cathedral Cove presented another first for me: visiting a secluded hidden beach between the cliffs, it felt like a place which was both peaceful due to its surroundings, but also threatening because of its isolation. We couldn’t stay long as the tide was coming in, however it was an incredible place to see even just for a short while.
The next stop on my New Zealand trip was Tauranga, a town located in the Bay of Plenty. Its a medium-sized harbour town, but its hidden secret is Mount Maunganui, a dormant volcano which you can climb up to enjoy the stunning views of the town and surrounding area, I took the photo above of the cargo ship from halfway up the Mount. The day I went to the Mount it was a public holiday (and a very sunny day) so the beach was absolutely packed; when I returned the next day under a cloud cover it had been abandoned by all, a drastic change from the day before.
There is another quirky aspect to the beach which is Moturiki Island. It lies right by the beach and is connected with a rocky bridge to the mainland. Until 1990 it used to be a leisure resort a swimming pool and slides, however today nothing remains and the island has once again be reclaimed by nature.
The final place I visited during my stay was Lake Taupo. The weather was terrible, it was overcast and cool on my first day, and it rained on my second day (which is why I didn’t take many photos here). However, in spite of the weather I treated it as a couple of days just to read and relax before my long journey home began.