Monday, February 1, 2010

Photovan does Corromandel

December 2008 :

I just got back from another tour in my photovan , Last week I toured Northland and yesterday I started my 650km round trip up the smaller ''horn'' of the north island . I'll post one picture at a time to limit the size of the pages .

The weather was pretty dismal to start with and I wondered if I had made the right decision to keep on going - my first stop was at Thames shopping centre .....

I went into the McDonalds [ no I don't eat their burgers ] , and had some breakfast .

There's always an interesting old building along the way ....

Then the road starts to hug the coastline most of the way

And there are many rock formations in the sea along the way

The weather was still looking rather dismal as I headed towards Coromandel town

There are plenty of smaller bays and towns along the way ....

Just be sure to apply your parking brake when you stop to take pictures

The road eventually becomes gravel

And still cuts through many small bays and beaches

Then Port Jackson appears around the corner - my planned destination

Layers upon layers of people , tents and caravans - this would definitely not be where I stay for the night

So I checked the map - there was another 7km more of road before it all ended so I kept heading for Fletchers bay

There were a few small river crossings preceded by these signs .....

See the 'Holden' added in ? [ Chevrolet/Opel , I think it's the same thing ] . There is a lot of competition between the two cars because of the races they hold in Australia but anyway as I came around the corner there was a Ford van chugging along - I had to go extra slow for a while until he pulled over and I could resume 'normal' speed

And then the clouds started to part and sunshine and blue skies appeared ....

I think the scenery is better here than at the top of Northland

And a few more before I get some sleep ...

bored stiff .... [ watching cricket !]

Two grumpy faces ....

and tomorrow I'll finish the story .....

It was a good trip but I'm a bit tired of driving now , about 2000 km in the last week . There were quite a few photo opportunities but most of the good stuff happens as the sun starts going down then I wander around waiting for it to dissappear .....

Once the sun was behind a hill I snapped this shot of some low cloud

The next morning I surveyed the mess I had made so far

... and strapped the 'kids' in for the rest of the trip

Since there was actually an empty parking space outside my favourite hardware shop I grabbed the opportunity to stop and have breakfast in Coromandel town - after buying another machette from this shop - they have a large selection and 4 years ago I bought a decent one here so I had to pop in again .....

and then over to the cafe for pancakes banana and bacon breakfast [ with maple syrup ]

And over the hill to the East coast

and more bays and towns ..... and flowers

does this also make you feel seasick ?

Tairua is a scenic little town where they were holding a fishing competition for the kids - it's one of the few towns where I wouldn't mind spending more than a day walking around snapping pictures .....

From there I headed for the Karangahake gorge - one of my favourite spots in this area

It used to be a mining area but the scenery is really nice and there are a lot of walks in and around the mountains

and some bush

and tunnels cut into the rock

and along the side of the mountain

and old mining gear all over

Next time I'll take a torch and a day to explore the deeper tunnels - with my tripod of course .....

any way that was the end of that tour and some of the 450 pictures I took - there are a few more here ....

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