North Island Trip Episode 1: The VANtom Menace….

It’s been quite relaxing to sit in the dark and sort out the pictures from our trip. I feel like I didnt take enough!!

This is where we spent our first night on the way to Coromandel. We just parked on the side of the road and CB cooked up some dinner while I hunted for good shells on the rocky beach. The motorway is full of mentalcase curves with one side mountainside and the other side, the ocean. Its pretty fun driving, but a bit nerve wracking at night though. (I know you already know that though, Olivia!)

This was just beside where we parked our van, it was beautiful and in the early hours of the morning. I rolled out of the van and slid down the frosty hill to have a wee pee on the beach. It was so quiet during the night that I had some trouble falling asleep. It didn’t help that just as I was nodding off there was this barky little noise that my sleep-addled mind was convinced was a seal rolling around under our van. Suddenly I wondered how far up the tide would come… Was our van about to fall in the ocean? Could I seal get in the van? Could a flipper break its way through glass? CB did not appreciate me waking him up at 3am to check for seals and the level of the ocean for some reason…

Some snails snuggling together in a tidal pool.

We got into Coromandel Town in time for breakfast. We had incredibly expensive eggs and toast and then drove around checking out the town. There’s only about 150 people living there during the off season so it was a short drive. But we did find the Driving Creek Railway!

Its a little train that goes up the hill and back and was built in the 70s by a sculptor to remove clay from the hills. It was an hour ride, with a few loops and switchbacks and tunnels that have been made with decorative clay bricks. It takes you up the side of a hill and the view from the top ‘The Eye-Full Tower’ was amazing.

From the tower you could see the gorgeous hills covered in silver fern and Californian pines, the town and the mussel boat way out in the water.

The railway is also a studio for visiting artists and there’s strange clay creations peeking out of all kinds of weird places.

Sculpture garden! With sculptures instead of flowers!

And a cactus with faces!


Then we went to the place I have been most excited to go to since CB went 2 years ago.. THE WATERWORKS!!

You drive up The 309 road, and suddenly there’s a million little black boars all over the place. We threw out some trail mix and the snorted it all up. Apparently this is an attraction, a guy named Frank or something and his 81237128310297 pigs. If you drive just a little bit longer you come around a corner and find.. THE WATERWORKS!

It’s an awesome and awesomely dangerous and dangerously fun water park FUN ADVENTURE! There’s things that shoot water and are powered by water and giant flying foxes and a playyground that is made mostly of tires and old steering wheels. Super fun. I wandered around, slurping a vanilla milkshake, spraying CB with various sorts of peddle-powered water cannons, generally having a grand old time. I tucked my milkshake into my purse to go down the insanely long flying fox and nearly pee’d my shorts. There was a GIANT tire swing made out of a monster truck tire or something and CB and I took turns trying to give each other the barfs by spinning it as fast as we could.

A black and white cat followed us, having naps while we played. It followed us into the playground area and sat looking very unimpressed while we ran shrieking like six year olds. I ran around this giant human hamster wheel until I landed straight on my face. We ran on these carpet covered spinning things that were off balance and would throw you right off it once you got it going. We stumbled out an hour later, just as it started to rain, covered in mud and blood and bruises.





Author: Kara Lalalala

I write this blog for my family cause I am terrible at letters & emails.

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