Tauranga was a pleasant little town, and we spent a morning wandering around it. Before long we were stopped by two guys who said:-
“Do you know where the Bank is?”
We replied “No sorry mate, we’re not from round here”
“Oh right….. Do you know where the Post Office is?”
“No sorry – we are not from this town so we don’t know where anything is, sorry!”
“Oh OK….. Do you know where the nearest post box is?”
Fearing this would go on all day, we suggested “Why don’t you try up there….?”
“Thanks!” and they left happily.
Anyway, Tauranga was pleasant and we enjoyed a salad for lunch and an ice cream. However we soon felt that we had seen all there was to see. Even though we had clearly not seen the bank or post office.
We drove north until we saw a beach on the map, and headed towards it. This is how we happened upon Waihi beach. I almost don’t want to give its name in case it becomes touristy, but with my small readership I don’t think that is a realistic worry. I don’t think all 10 of you are gonna go there at once 😉
Anyway it was beautiful – endless sand stretching in both directions- just beautiful. And we had the place to ourselves. Apart from a couple of jellyfish and starfish.
We drove yet further north and came across Whatamanga beach which was also nice. My boyfriend discovered something apparently amazing in a toilet. He asked me to come and look at it with him but as you can imagine I was unimpressed at this somewhat unromantic suggestion, especially when I realised that the toilet stank of urine. I refused to go in the toilet and look at whatever this amazing thing was. He said “that’s fine but I will never tell you what it is if you don’t look now…”. I said “that is not a problem!”. So yeah… apparently there is something amazing in a toilet in Whatamanga, if anyone is in the area and desperate for entertainment. You just don’t get this type of quality information in the guidebooks 😉
After perusing the beaches we traveled north again. We had planned to stop for the night somewhere between Tauranga and Auckland, however in the end we drove straight through, stopping here and there for some sightseeing.
We stopped in Miranda and went looking for some Hot Springs but couldn’t find them. Which I now realise doesn’t make a great anecdote. But the countryside was pretty.
As the sun set we were still driving. We kept seeing signs saying “Tiredness Kills…. Take a break” and similar. I felt absolutely fine so carried on. However there were more and more of these signs, and after a while I did feel a bit tired. I suspect they used the power of suggestion – maybe some of the signs said “look into my eyes…..” and “You are feeling sleepy….”. In the end, despite the hypnotic signs (and with a responsible amount of stopping for food etc) we made it back to Auckland. The next day we flew south to Christchurch.
Next Blog: Kaikoura.