This is the Coromandel Peninsula, also known as the Sea Bird Coast. It stretches along the Firth of Thames, a long, wide bay. There are thermal hot springs and mud flats at the lower end, and a mangrove forest at the northern end. In between is a spectacular drive along the water’s edge, where sea birds sit on every rock, and the trees are full of nesting white bellied cormorants and other birds.
This alternates with climbs up steep ridges where the vets of the velvety green fields below are breath-taking! This area is also known for scrumptious seafood, especially mussels and oysters. A smokehouse offers every variety of smoked seafood. Yum! We did a lot of happy tasting along this route.
Coromandel itself is a sweet small town. You can walk around it pretty quickly and explore all the little shops and eateries. Later that afternoon we drove back down the Peninsula and found a campsite called Sapphire Springs in a town called Katikati, where we enjoyed a hot spring soak before falling into our comfy van to sleep. Another delight in Katikati was finding the local farmers market, where we stocked up on fruit, eggs, and fresh baby asparagus. It is springtime, after all. Here is the brick oven on wheels at that market where they were baking fresh bread on the premises.
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Location:Coromandel, New Zealand