• Travel Savvy Guide

Van’mad Diaries Coromandels

Updated: Dec 20, 2019

We’re on the road again..

Wow I love the Coromandels, the weather is utterly fantastic and the scenery is divine. Absolutely no van drama’s only that poor old Eddie is still making a squealing noise when the engine is being started but other than that none. So happy days!

Departure of The Animal Sanctuary, we headed south of Auckland, stopping off at a pubic pool for a free swim and shower and topped up all of our shopping supplies! Pack’n’save (a supermarket) were having lots of tasters of food so we were essentially in heaven! However sadly we are now hooked on chocolate covered Oreos, this is not so good as they are not only delicious but cannot withstand the heat of the VAN! So caution must be taken and box consumed in one! Destination of the night was Kaiaua, where we splashed out on a pint and dinner at the first proper pub we’ve seen in New Zealand.

Thames. With poor weather predicted we decided to stick to the west cost of the Coromandels so that once the storm has blown over we could enjoy the sunny east coast in all it’s glory. Whilst in Thames it rained the whole time, a walk in the rain was lovely but our decision to cook in the rain not so bright, with all the bigger campers towering over us with their heaters and TV’s on with all their inside vulumpsious living we really felt like we were living the true #vanlife especially when we had nowhere to hang up all our wet clothes.

Waiomu. The Purchase of our newest chum Kia the kayak. After much assessing and climbing on the roof and research I’d decided that we could fit a kayak on our roof as it would enhance our trip considerably. I got up on the roof after lots of cursing I managed to move the roof box over and I felt very empowered and a true nomadic van lifer.

Welcome to the fam’a’van Kia.

Coromandel town.The route around the Coromandels continued as the weather was picking up, the next stop was Coromandel town. On the road to Coromandel town we picked up a lovely 19 year old Italian hitchhiker, who was a lovely breath of fresh air and had lots of exciting stories to tell us, a truly inspiration girl who had missed her bus so I’m glad we picked her up.

Coromandel town. Coromandel town driving creek railway, is a stop lots of people had suggested to us, so we couldn’t pass it up. It was a place I remember visiting when I was younger so it was nice to re visit. Some spectacular views and a pretty cool day out, if you’re heading to New Zealand and are going to be in this area I’d suggest doing it.

Waikawau. Lots and lots of mental roads, (also known as dust roads) finally this was Lily’s turn to take on these lovely roads, however I slightly wished I was driving so I couldn’t see the gigantic drops off the side of the mountain that we were edging very closely towards due to the roads eroding at quite a pace.

Waikawau, yet another wonderful free camp location quite literally on the beach- spectacular- well worth the near death experiences. Having observed a lot of elderly couples with tractors and deck chairs in the back and a bottle of bubbly- I do watch in envy, I feel they have definitely hit the nail on the head for retirement. Quickly approaching evening we thought we may be on our own again in the camp, but a gaggle of girls in a big white van came around the corner, hurray! Two English and one American, Wooo people! After a lovely evening chatting to them and playing dominos we exchanged details as they all live down in Wellington and were exploring the Coromandels for the weekend! Lots of fun watching them figure out the van, chuckle factor 10.

Whangapoua and New Chum Beach, a must see if you are in the area. Having taken one of two free camping spaces (keep note of that) we walked over to New Chum Beach- only accessible by walking. Having spent a lovely day reading our books, cooling off in the sea and pottering in the shade we headed back in fear we may get caught out by the high tide. We still got caught out, we had to cross what was a stream on the way to the beach, but on the way back was a arm pit deep river - with our bags over our heads we waded through- I’m not making that mistake again.

Whitianga. After making note of those two free camping spaces, I will continue that avenue of the story, whilst we were taking our time making breakfast with the view, we could see a few rental van’s creeping up around the car park keeping a watchful eye on us for our gold dust of a spot. Having been approached by one couple we agreed that it was only fair to give them a warning that we were leaving. I never expected war of the campers, they all started up and started edging towards the space, with the couple telling the other vans that it was their space, it wasn’t enough the campers were creeping in. TRUE VAN’MAD drama- it was hilarious to watch after lots of agitation from the other campers as they retreated and buggered off to find a different site. Next destination Whitianga, again another beach side location, absolutely loving the location of the sites.

Hope you have enjoyed our Van’mad drama’s for the week, we are still heading down the east coast of the Coromandels and will be for the next week’ish so stay tuned.

Thank you for all the support, I am really glad you are enjoying following our trip, it is truly lovely connecting to wifi and receiving messages of support.

Stay Savvy for now!

Stay tuned for more #Vanlife nonsense

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New Zealand's tourist marketing campaign is to wish the world good morning everyday, from different Kiwi's in all parts of New Zealand. As it's to be said that New Zealand is the first to see the sun rise everyday so only right to wish the world a good morning and a good day.

So of course I thought hell YEAH, I want to join in. So I've been wishing the world good morning every morning from each of our locations, so stay tuned.

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