I made it back to where it all began (at least for me here in New Zealand) – the Coromandel Peninsula! There is nothing quite as spectacular as winding your way through the twists and turns of the Coromandel coast. The electric green hills and turquoise water are utterly breath taking. I have ALSO never experienced such extreme car sickness while being the driver!
I instantly felt like a local when I bumped into several people I had met last time I was up in the area. People in Coromandel give the BEST hugs!
I met up with my kiwi mate Nick whom I met when I was WWOOF’ing at Mana Retreat Centre. He works for the Department of Conservation so it was almost a guarantee that my visit would involve bush trekking, forcing Meg to properly pronounce Maori town names, and of course hear endless rants about the Kauri tree dieback problems!
We had a lot of fun beach hopping and just driving through the lime-coloured landscape. We even popped into Mahamudra Buddhist Centre for a quick meditation and stumbled upon a small-town hip hop concert! I learned heaps about local plants, ocean critters, and what DOC workers actually do for fun! As we were driving back to his pad one night, Nick actually drove out of his way to run his massive truck over a possum! “Just doing my job”! Sheesh! I know possums are pests here and all… but I’ve always tried to AVOID hitting any poor creature on the highway!
Note: Do not watch the Hobbit movie with a kiwi nature-loving DOC worker unless you wish to experience a barrage of interruptions pointing out the location of each and every scene! And no… very little CGI was used in the making.
Sorry (not sorry) for all of the nature shots!