Weekend - Friday 4 August 2017 to Sunday 6 August 2017 (3 days)


The long winding drive to Waikawau Bay Lodge on the North East of Coromandel was worth the effort. The lodge was all lit up inviting us in to the three bedrooms, huge lounge, dining and kitchen facility. We unpacked into a fridge and admired the stove, microwave, jug, toaster, even cups and plates and tea towels. We woke the next day to the sun rising over the beach and horses grazing in the paddock below.

Our Saturday started with another winding drive on a narrow gravel road, to Stony Bay further north. The MTB track was up, up and more up, but rewarded us richly with fantastic views over the Hauraki Golf and Great Barrier Island.

We dropped down to Fletcher Bay and lunched in the sun in a sheltered bay with only our extra layers of clothing reminding us that Martin’s mid winter swim was brave.

The return route took us back south through the bush track of the Coromandel Walkway with great coastal lookouts along the way, a very pleasant walk.

Home to the lodge just before dark and time for a hot shower, shared feast and chat around the wood burner.

The sunrise over the water greeted us again on Sunday and we were off along the beautiful white sandy beach to begin the loop Matamataharakeke walk through bush and streams, rising above the bay to more great views.

Then we set off on our tourist drive down the coast towards Coromandel before turning inland to the top of the ranges for a climb of Castle Rock.

One look was enough to get some of us shaking but the challenge was accepted by a good number and the views from the top looking from Coromandel town below us on the west to Matarangi on the east, were stunning. A great sense of achievement followed.

The drive back down the coast of Thames was spectacular and a huge thanks goes to Athol for driving the bus on these particularly winding narrow roads. We all had a fantastic weekend with great company in a beautiful area and really enjoyed the small packs, comfortable and well appointed accommodation.

We were Athol (driver), Erica, Tony, Hazel, Catherine, Lawrence, Vicky, Linda, Julia, Marlies, Dave, Teresa (scribe) and Martin (leader).