I could probably do a whole blog post about the 309 Road, but the highlights are as follows:
- Kauri Grove - a short walk through a Kauri Grove (pretty self explanatory really). Kauri’s are a native tree to NZ and grow to be huge and are considered one of the most ancient tree species in the world.
- Waiau Falls - a short walk to a pretty waterfall where you can swim.
- LOTS OF PIGS - Some random guy lets a huge amount of pigs roam his land near the main road. You can cuddle, touch and feed them but remember they are wild.
The aim was to complete the return hike in the allotted 3 hours as we had read that the walk was only 10 km. We needed to be back in Coromandel Town for the Driving Creek Railway booking at sunset. We got to Fletchers Bay and saw this sign.
Turns out the walk is 10km ONE WAY. We were never going to complete a 20km hike in 3 hours (not at the speed I walk anyway). We were slightly disappointed and annoyed that for some reason they do not put distances on their signs, only hours.
The views are stunning and incredibly picturesque. The water can’t be described without using all the cliches. The hike itself wasn’t too difficult. I would rate it moderate because it’s not flat. You go through farmland, bush and past beach inlets.
We arrived back at the car, started driving back. Now on to the Train. I don’t quite know how to say this without sounding rude and ignorant but I thought the train ride would be packed with nanna’s and grandpas and would not be interesting in anyway shape or form to me. We only booked it because it’s a touristy thing and I thought Phil would enjoy the trains. I was so wrong. It was incredibly cool and interesting and I wondered why I hadn’t done it before.
The west coast of the Coromandel is very different from the east. The west just seems a bit more wild with the sand being rougher and darker and the beaches are more estuary less surf like and the land is less farming and more bush/forest. It’s funny the coasts are only an hour apart and are so contrary.
Snapshot of our Coromandel stay:
- Accommodation: Shelly Beach Top 10 Holiday Park (http://www.shellybeachcoromandel.co.nz/welcome)
- Coffee: Success Cafe - and yes it was successful coffee!
- Activity: Driving Creek Railway and Potteries (http://www.drivingcreekrailway.co.nz/)
- Dinner: Pepper Tree Restaurant (peppertreerestaurant.co.nz)
Although we have no set plans on heading back to the Coromandel, we will have to complete the Coastal Walk at some stage. We will have to remember to allow enough time next time.