Another state of emergency avoided!
Ex-cyclone Gita causes fresh states of emergency to be declared.
We managed to head north out of the way of this. Seemed to affect Taranaki quite badly. Looks as if the Kaikoura main route in is cut-off again.


Next day we headed up State Highway 3. Until we got south of Hamilton it was a very quiet road. This might have been in part because it was a Sunday, so few heavy lorries, and was a good thing as most NZ main roads are rarely more than one lane each way with the odd two-lane section for overtaking, so you can get held up (although the trucks do move pretty fast and only come unstuck on inclines.)
Tongaporutu near the Three Sisters
Tongaporutu near the Three Sisters

SH3 was a very scenic route, especially the coastal stretch and the section through the Awakino Gorge.
On State Highway 3 Awakino Gorge
On State Highway 3 Awakino Gorge

On State Highway 3 Awakino Gorge
On State Highway 3 Awakino Gorge

On State Highway 3
On State Highway 3

Several nice small towns en route as well, with some interesting things to see, but we pressed on and made good time.
Otorohanga, Waikato on SH3
Otorohanga, Waikato on SH3

Large sculpture in Morrinsville, Waikato.
Large sculpture in Morrinsville, Waikato – kiwis are fond of these

On as fast as we could to our final stopping-off point: the Coromandel Peninsula.
Our Bach and beach in Coromandel
Our Bach and beach in Coromandel

Again Ann had found the perfect waterside bach – this time one we had been to before. You have your own private sandy beach, swimmable as well. You share the house with the odd creature such as large black moths and crickets, one of which appeared in our bed out of nowhere (to be truthful this only happened once and we easily caught him and returned him to his preferred domain.)
Our beach in Coromandel
Our beach in Coromandel – well for three days

The view from the bedroom and sitting room (and deck outside) is stunning, as long as the weather holds (which it has so far and we have been here at least four hours!)
Evening on the beach - Coromandel Peninsula
Evening on the beach – Coromandel Peninsula

At this bach the waves lap onto the beach and the beach is quite small so you can’t walk far either left or right, but it is all yours for a few days – no odd bods interrupting your reverie or other antics.
Sunset at the Bach - Coromandel Peninsula
Sunset at the Bach – Coromandel Peninsula
A discovery: when the tide is out you can walk on the beach around the corner and there is a further stretch of sandy beach. Across the bay is Cook’s Beach but we are separated from it by an estuary – small but significant enough to make sure we remain private.
We can sit out whenever we want – except perhaps right now when it has started to rain. To be able to eat all meals outside – not too hot not too cold – is another bonus.
We spent yesterday around the house and on the little beach just making the most of it. Temperature around 25 degrees C. We have started to see one or two birds including the NZ Kingfisher (more like a small Kookaburra), that we remember from our previous visit, but haven’t managed to get a decent picture yet.

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