Back on the road

Johanna and I have finally started our trip around New Zealand's North Island. We left Whangarei at 4.30pm today heading down to Auckland first to pick up some couchsurfers. We ended up having a car with five girls!!! It was tough fitting all the luggage in but it worked :-)

With a short dinner stop along the way we made it to Thames at the bottom of Coromandel Pensinsula just before 10pm. What a drive... I have to admit I almost fell asleep on the way but our guardian angel was keeping an eye on all of us. Thanks for that!!!

We then had a warm welcome by our couchsurfing hosts Christiane (also German) and Patrick. We haven't quite decided yet what exactly we're going to do tomorrow. Probably have a quick stop at the farmer's markets in town - I want to buy some goat and sheep cheese - and we might have to have the car checked. The exhaust pipe didn't sound too good for the last hour of our trip and I think there was a bit of a petrol smell in the car for a while. Keep your fingers crossed that it's nothing serious!!!!!!

Depending on the outcome of our morning's activities (and me sleeping in!) we might do a short hike somewhere nearby tomorrow afternoon. The area is perfect for walking and there are lots of recommended hikes... Christiane and Patrick told us about a nice one that you won't find in any guidebook. It's only two hours and leads you to some kind of sanctuary. Looking forward to that!

We've got the Pinnacles planned for Sunday - a long but very scenic walk to the top of the mountains - and then Hot Water Beach (dig your own mud pool at low tide) and maybe another walk on Monday before heading down to Tauranga/Rotorua. I'll keep you posted. First pictures are following soon!


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