THE COROMANDEL PENINSULA
ROAD TRIP (PART 3 – FINAL)
Today we are heading back home after seeing many new and wonderful places.
We are driving along the Coromandel Peninsula, which is known for its pristine beaches and native forests and extends 85km north from the western end of the Bay of Plenty. Geared with our hiking shoes, we were ready to explore more of the forests on the route.
Our first stop was at the Waipoua Forest where you will find the well-known kauri trees. The kauri is a native New Zealand tree that grows in the warm, northern part of New Zealand – the Coromandel Peninsula.
Walking into the Waiau Kauri Grove
Beautiful scenery in the forest
A few years ago, a fungus-like disease started to kill the Kauri forests. Microscopic spores infect the trees’ roots, stopping them from absorbing nutrients and water. It eventually starves the trees.
To try and save the kauri trees, the most basic solution is known as the barrel and grate cleaning station, where people scrub their footwear and spray it with disinfectant. We have seen these at every forest today.
The foot cleaning stations at the entrance of the forest
Scrub and spray your feet with disinfectant before entering the forest
The kauri tree is one of the largest and longest-living trees in the world. Kauri can live for 1,000 years or more and its trunk can be over 2 meters in diameter.
The kauri trees can be seen from a distance
Berto and I looking hilariously small standing in front of a very big kauri tree in the Waiau Kauri Grove
We are overwhelmed by the size of these trees!
All the paths in the forest are well constructed with raised walkways with non-slip surfaces, which make hiking very easy.
Beautiful pathways in the forest
Next on our list was the Waiau Falls. It was not warm enough to take a dip in the cool water at the falls, but it was a great spot to enjoy nature.
Entrance to the Waiau Falls
Beautiful native forest surrounds the falls and it is a popular swimming hole… but we decided to rather just sit on the rocks by the falls and relax.
The Waiau Falls
It was great to relax in these beautiful forests
There are beautiful hiking routes in this area and if we had more time, we would probably have taken a day trip into these amazing forests … maybe we’ll get another opportunity in the near future.
Great hiking trails to the top of that mountain – wish we had more time
After all the beautiful walkways in the forests, we were getting hungry and it was time for lunch. We stopped at the Pepper Tree Restaurant and Bar in Coromandel Town and ended our road trip on the Coromandel Peninsula with ribs and chips!
What wonderful 3 days we had in this beautiful part of New Zealand!
There are so much more to see … but we are taking many great memories with us!