The Coromandel Peninsula

Our son Michael, and his girlfriend Leah, have been working with WWOOF in New Zealand since September 2013.

Coromandel, New Zealand

Before they ever left home, John and I booked a trip to see them for Thanksgiving.


Lake Taupo

Our trip started in Lake Taupo and you can read all about our time there HERE.

We spent the rest of our week together on the east coast of the Coromandel Peninsula.

Coromandel, New Zealand

The 4.5 hour drive was filled with windy roads and beautiful landscapes.

Coromandel, New Zealand

Coromandel, New Zealand

Coromandel, New Zealand

Coromandel, New Zealand

A narrow dirt road led us to our rental home.

Coromandel, New Zealand

Coromandel, New Zealand

The Bluff on Rings Beach is a 3 bedroom, 2 bath elevated home on Bluff Road.

Coromandel, New Zealand

The house is about a minute walk from the beach and offers stunning sea views.

Coromandel, New Zealand

Coromandel, New Zealand

Coromandel, New Zealand

Coromandel, New Zealand

Salt Restaurant & Bar is located in Whitianga, about 15 minutes from our home in Rings Beach.

Coromandel, New Zealand

Coromandel, New Zealand

It was such a gorgeous night that we chose to sit outside by the Whitianga Marina.

Coromandel, New Zealand

Every Friday night, Salt serves complimentary hors d’oeuvres during happy hour from 4-7 PM.

Coromandel, New Zealand

Coromandel, New Zealand

I highly recommend Happy Hour at Salt.

Coromandel, New Zealand

We were going to stay for dinner but they didn’t have a table available until late.

Across the street is Blue Ginger, another recommended “local favorite”.

Coromandel, New Zealand

The have really good food with clean, fresh flavors.

Thai Green Curry with prawns, squid, and scallops:

Coromandel, New Zealand

Prawn Lettuce Cups with grilled prawns, fresh pineapple, cucumber, herbs, and a chili lime mayo:

Coromandel, New Zealand

The next morning we went to Te Whanganui-A-Hei, better known as Cathedral Cove.

Coromandel, New Zealand

Cathedral Cove is a must visit on the Coromandel Peninsula.

Coromandel, New Zealand

It is AMAZING and deserved its own write-up. You can see all of the pictures from Cathedral Cove HERE.

Another “must visit” is Hot Water Beach.

Coromandel, New Zealand

At low tide, and sometimes 2 hours on each side of low tide, you should be able to find hot water bubbling through the sand.

My friend told me about how they dug a hole and steamed mussels on the beach when they visited.

The four of us agreed that THAT was exactly what we wanted to do for lunch: steam mussels on the beach using nature’s hot water.

Except, the water wasn’t hot.

Coromandel, New Zealand

Not even warm.

All of those people were sitting in puddles of cold water.

I dipped my toe in every one of the pools just to make sure.

What a let down.

Plan B:

Coromandel, New Zealand

Squids in Whitianga for mussels!

We ordered two Mussel Pots:

Coromandel, New Zealand

A kilo of Coromandel Green shell mussels steamed with wine, garlic, and cream.

And two bowls of Squids Seafood Chowder:

Coromandel, New Zealand

It is made with fresh and smoked Coromandel fish, squid, and mussels in a creamy velouté sauce.

Coromandel, New Zealand

I love that Leah takes food pictures, too.

That night we kept is simple with grilled burgers at home and game night.

Coromandel, New Zealand

We woke to another gorgeous day and headed down to the beach:

Coromandel, New Zealand

For a Girls vs Guys Bocce Ball Tournament!

Coromandel, New Zealand

I am pretty sure the girls won.

We spent the rest of the afternoon on the beach.

Coromandel, New Zealand

Coromandel, New Zealand

Michael was the only brave one who went for a swim:

Coromandel, New Zealand

Coromandel, New Zealand

I wrote NZ 2013 in the sand:

Coromandel, New Zealand

Can you see it?

Look again.

Such a fun day!

Coromandel, New Zealand

On our last night together we went to Luke’s Kitchen, another local’s favorite 5 minutes from our rental home.

Coromandel, New Zealand

They have live music:

Coromandel, New Zealand

A traditional wood-fired pizza oven:

Coromandel, New Zealand

And cold beer.

Coromandel, New Zealand

Perfect!

Coromandel, New Zealand

I checked-out the specials board:

Coromandel, New Zealand

Duck Confit Pizza.

SOLD!

Coromandel, New Zealand

We also ordered the Triple ‘P’ with prawn, pepperoni, pesto, red onion, garlic and capers:

Coromandel, New Zealand

And the Pacific Chix with coconut chicken, zucchini, onion preserved lime, and coriander.

Coromandel, New Zealand

I still crave their pizzas.

When the sun started to set, Leah and I followed a bunch of people outside to see the colors painted across the sky.

Coromandel, New Zealand

My pictures just don’t capture it.

Coromandel, New Zealand

Wait.

Where is John?

There he is!

Coromandel, New Zealand

We had the best night at Luke’s!

Coromandel, New Zealand

When we travel, we try to find out where the locals hang out.

Coromandel, New Zealand

We struck gold at Luke’s Kitchen.

Coromandel, New Zealand

Incredible food, people, and atmosphere.

Unfortunately, the next day we had to check out of our rental home and leave Rings Beach.

Coromandel, New Zealand

The four of us drove to Thames and had one last meal together at Woodturners Cafe.

Coromandel, New Zealand

It is located at 3815 State Highway 2 — a little hard to find but well worth it.

Coromandel, New Zealand

They serve breakfast all day:

Coromandel, New Zealand

Sandwiches on homemade bread:

Coromandel, New Zealand

And the best Pumpkin and Cumin Quiche, ever.

Coromandel, New Zealand

Coromandel, New Zealand

With teary eyes and heavy hearts, we said our goodbyes and parted ways.

Coromandel, New Zealand

Our week together was everything we wanted and needed it to be.

Coromandel, New Zealand

Bye for now, Michael and Leah . . .

We’ll see you in March!

____________________________________________________________________________________________________

Read about our time in Lake Taupo HERE and our day at Cathedral Cove HERE.

And for more on New Zealand, read about our time in Aukland, Queenstown, Wanaka, Tekapo, and Christchurch HERE.

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