Pack up and bid farewell to beautiful Lake Okareka. Drive north east to Coromandel. Get lost on a detour. Accidently cause detour by misreading map. Find ourselves and drive to Catherdral Cove. Stunning views. Stop briefly in Coromandel for supplies then on to Waikawau Bay. Cook dinner and read until sunset. Sleep.
|Cathedral cove and not a cathedral in sight. Liars|
Wake. Read. Maura drives to get supplies. Swim. Read. Maura returns with delicious supplies including carrot cake. Sun bathe. More swimming. More reading. Eat, relax, sleep.
Wake and move camp to motor camp closer to Coromandel to be nearer Auckland. Go hiking. Swim, lunch, sun bathe, read, nap, swim, dinner, sleep. Lazy days are the best.
Wake and dismantle tent for the last time. Thank the gods. Patience for outdoor living has officially run out. Drive to Auckland and check into hostel. Coincidentally arrive the same day as closing ceremony of Chinese lantern festival. Auckland Sky Tower all lit up in red. Explore the city docks by day and at night venture into city centre park to see the lanterns and the fireworks. Return to hostel and sleep.
|And where, pray tell, can I get a monkey lantern???|
Wake and stroll through the city. Print posters to sell on our trusty Ferdia. Potter round putting them up and take in more of Auckland. Go for drinks in Fr Ted's Irish bar. Surprise! Sean has flown to Auckland to see me off. Much rejoicing. Bring people to the car in attempt to flog him for more than he's worth. Enjoy drinks outside hostel with Dutch room-mate while watching the Sky Tower flash rainbow colours in honour of gay pride. Sleep.
|Auckland you beauty|
Awake and show the car to more people. C'mon Ferdia, smile for the nice people... Ferry to Devonport across the bay. After lunch go to naval museum. Then up North Head hill to see old military defensive fortifications and tunnels built into hill. Dark, echoing halls. Spooky. Big hidden guns. Cool. Return to hostel. Some
poor fool -body has decided to buy Ferdia. Dolla dolla bills, y'all! Nap. Feeling revitalised head back out to climb the Sky Tower and see the night time cityscape. Eat delicious ramen and gyouza. Sleep in a hostel room that turns out to have been occupied by famished ninja-mosquitoes.
Wake to discover ninja-mosquitos have made a fine feast of my legs. Finally accept that I am a delicious delicacy to the blood suckers on this side of the world. Last day in New Zealand :-( Back up the Sky Tower to see Auckland under the light of day. Then mosey on over to the Auckland gallery. Finally, fill up on sushi and miso at all-you-can-eat sushi restaurant. Eat a regrettable amount of sushi. Waddle out the door. Bus to the airport. Play arcade games and drink beer in airport bar. Nap on the floor. Fly to Australia.
|Sky Tower, or rocket ship?|
Well that was the final piece of my New Zealand adventure diary. It has been nice to relive it a little by writing it all down. Nice, and a little sad. I'll just have to go back there again some day I suppose.