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A Coromandel weekend with friends

When friends of yours have a place in the Coromandel, one of the country’s best loved holiday destinations, the obvious thing to do is arrange a group weekend away. Logistics were a bit tricky but where there’s a will there’s always a way!

One Friday afternoon Mike and I took flew to Auckland to be met by Kirsten, Mike and their 3yo. From there it was a two hour drive south-east to a small settlement half-way between Waihi and Whangamata, and the holiday home of Debbie and Barclay.

Whiritoa is just off the beaten track and has a quiet vibe, a perfect getaway from the rat race. Despite living in Auckland for the first 10 years of my adult life, I wasn’t very familiar with the Coromandel so it was great to be going somewhere new. And as we were to find out, there were plenty of activity options in addition to just blobbing.

One of life's simple pleasures - holiday morning routines on a deck in the sunshine

One of life’s simple pleasures – holiday morning routines on a deck in the sunshine

The Coromandel has beautiful golden sand beaches and Whiritoa is no exception. That's Mayor Island out on the horizon - a dormant volcano and wildlife refuge.

The Coromandel has beautiful golden sand beaches and Whiritoa is no exception. That’s Mayor Island out on the horizon – a dormant volcano and wildlife refuge

It was mid-May, so approaching winter, but still nice and mild  here. We took note of the seaside themes around the place...

It was mid-May, so approaching winter, but still nice and mild here. We took note of the seaside themes around the place…

On Saturday we ventured out to the north end of the beach where we had to wade through the outgoing tide between the sea and the lagoon

On Saturday we ventured out to the north end of the beach where we had to wade through the outgoing tide between the sea and the lagoon

Barefeet

From there it was 15 minutes up and over the hill to Waimama Bay

From there it was 15 minutes up and over the hill to Waimama Bay

The small picturesque bay is worth the extra bit of effort to get there

The small picturesque bay is worth the extra bit of effort to get there

The wee boy had a great time

The wee boy had a great time

There's a great area for exploring rock pools and watching the waves explode upwards

There’s a great area for exploring rock pools and watching the waves explode upwards

Coromandel shells

We don't catch up nearly enough these days. I've known Deb for about 30 years, Kirsten for 40 :).

We don’t catch up nearly enough these days. I’ve known Deb for about 30 years, Kirsten for 40 🙂

We popped into Whangamata for coffee, some general meandering and a pony ride

We popped into Whangamata for coffee, some general meandering and a pony ride

The big boys had a hit - don't recall the score but I'm pretty sure Wellington lost

The big boys had a hit – don’t recall the score but I’m pretty sure Wellington lost

Being the east coast the sunset was going to be muted but it was lovely all the same

Being the east coast the sunset was going to be muted but it was lovely all the same

Sunday's walk took us to the south end of the beach and past a well-known landmark. Do-up anyone?

Sunday’s walk took us to the south end of the beach and past a well-known landmark. Do-up anyone?

The sand looks plentiful but a management strategy is in place after decades of farming, sand mining and erosion

The sand looks plentiful but a management strategy is in place after decades of farming, sand mining and erosion

Whiritoa has a steep shore and the waves generally mean business

Whiritoa has a steep shore and the waves generally mean business

The cliffs provide a great view back along the 1.5km beach

The cliffs provide a great view back along the 1.5km beach

The main attraction at this end is the blowhole, requiring careful clambering and a firm grasp on the wee boy

The main attraction at this end is the blowhole, requiring careful clambering and a firm grasp on the wee boy

Filtered light

More scenery looking inland this time where sea water pushing through from the blowhole merges with the Whiritoa stream to form a lake

More scenery looking inland this time where sea water pushing through from the blowhole merges with the Whiritoa stream to form a lake

Happy holiday faces!

Happy holiday faces!

It was a brilliant weekend and created many happy memories which became all the more meaningful when one of our group fell ill for several months a few weeks later (now well on the road to recovery I’m very happy to report).

Pre-departure team photo (minus the photographer!)

Pre-departure team photo (minus the photographer!)

Such was our experience of Whiritoa, it set in motion plans for a return in summer.

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9 Comments Post a comment
  1. James Scott #

    Great post, the sea looks fierce

    26 July 2015
  2. Janice Strong #

    Great place Hayley and really neat blog. Look forward to more. xxx

    27 July 2015
    • Thanks Janice – trying to churn out this series before I go away in Sept!

      27 July 2015
      • Janice Strong #

        That’s not far away and then we will have more to read yay!!!

        27 July 2015
  3. The Coromandel is so lovely – really enjoyed reading about your trip & the great photos, reminded me of my trip up that way last year. Hope you are keeping well!

    27 July 2015
    • Hi and thanks! We’ve booked to go back next Jan to see a bit more of it – will be great to have that on the horizon. I’m heading Europe-way in Sept which, gulp, is getting quite close now. I saw a new post for you pop into my inbox the other day so will be catching up on that shortly!

      31 July 2015
  4. Oh gee here I go again. Have no idea why when I hit the return it wipes out my words. Anyhoo I loved the unusual shaped limb of the tree that overlooks the beach. The other pic that is my favorite is the one where the sun rays are filtering through the trees to make a beautiful scene. That one should be framed. It is excellent. I know that all of you must have had a great time as you were with two friends of long standing.

    28 July 2015
    • Thanks for your lovely comments Yvonne, and for persevering with the comment, what a strange and frustrating experience. It’s always enjoyable catching up with those guys, even if it is just once or sometimes twice a year.

      31 July 2015

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