The Road to Port Jackson

Neither John nor I had ever been up to the top of the Coromandel Peninsula.

While in Whitianga we tossed around the idea of going while we were so close.

I really wanted to go. John not so much. But he could see the merit in it, and agreed.

We left Larry and Leith at Simpson’s Beach (they would be heading to Whangamata the next day), and took the road to Coromandel town via Kuaotunu and Matarangi.

The beautiful white sandy beach at Matarangi…

This route to Coromandel is winding and has some steep grades, but hey, you expect that in this part of the country, and it’s spectacular hill country.

We head straight to the Coromandel NZMCA Park and right away notice the changes made since our last visit here eighteen months ago. It’s larger, and the ground surface completely gravelled, with new plantings around the perimeter. The location is good, right in the township. There’s no potable water on site, but the public dump station is just around the corner on Wharf Road, with fresh water there.

I want to do our laundry, and there’s a marvellous laundromat in the main street in a very cute little shop with an old-style washing machine on top of it’s verandah roof…

I love that Coromandel has kept it’s old verandah-style shops and buildings intact as a reminder of it’s history and gold mining past …

So the next day we set off for Port Jackson, leaving the caravan secure in the NZMCA Park.

This is to be a day trip.

I have to say, it’s a fantastic drive. The sea is so blue, the trees and hills so green.

I want to keep stopping …

We reach Amodeo Bay and stop to phone our granddaughter, Georgia, while we briefly have some cell coverage. It’s her 17th birthday and we had promised to phone her at a pre-arranged time, not giving any thought to the fact that we might not have coverage. We get through though, and have a lovely chat with her.

Amodeo Bay …

On to Papa Aroha. There’s a motor camp here and it appears to be quite a popular spot for boaties …

On to Colville …

Main Street …

Colville Hall …

Post office …

and General Store – last stop for groceries, fuel, LPG …

We have lunch at the Colville Cafe.

A 1970’s theme is evident at the Colville Cafe. They have a pizza oven, and a selection of cabinet food as well as a hearty menu

John took this obligatory photo of me in the ceramic chair outside …

Once we leave Colville it’s not long before we run out of tarsealed road and onto the narrow, dusty, and winding road that will take us all the way to Port Jackson.

Pohutukawa trees line the road, sometimes both sides …

We see where slips have occurred, the road broken away, and retaining walls built.

We see crews working on still more of these broken roads. It looks like an ongoing exercise.

A caravan squeezes past a line up of vehicles

Sometimes trees appear to be in the middle of the road …

… or just hanging on …

And the dust! Later we will discover everything in the back of our ute (under the fibre glass canopy) is covered in a thick layer.

We are trailing a Jucy hire van …

The views are magnificent …

The road flattens out now as we near the top of the Peninsula …

… and we reach a farm house. A very nice farm house …

… with fantastic views out over the ocean…

… and back inland …

A short distance further on we reach the DOC camp at Port Jackson. This is as far as we will go today.

It looks a lovely camp. There are a lot of big 5th wheelers and buses here, and John wonders how they coped with the road. My guess is, very slowly.

The beach …

There’s a fire ban on. It’s been so dry …

So after a wee picnic we head back down the road we’ve come, leaving Port Jackson to return to Coromandel…

We stop at Fantail Bay as we didn’t stop here on the way up. This is a lovely bay with a DOC camp across the road that appears to be quite full with the weekend approaching …

I get talking to a lady who comes here every year. Her husband is out in the dinghy fishing. She points out Rangitoto in the distance between the trees. (Not visible in the photo) …

It’s surprising how close, as the crow flies, this is to Auckland.

Before reaching Colville we arrive at Otautu Bay. There is a Farm Camp here that looks good and I file this away in my mind for future trips up this way.

We investigate Otautu Bay …

John thinks he would be comfortable bringing the caravan up this far so I’ll take that 😊

Arriving back in Coromandel covered in dust, we are happy we’ve made the trip. It’s been a great day.

And maybe next time we will venture to Fletcher’s Bay and Port Charles.

What a beautiful country we call home.

3 Comments

  1. Another gorgeous story! My husband and I have been coming to the Coromandel for over 35 years! In fact we honeymooned at Papa Aroha! And we still love coming here. We head to Kuaotunu or Matarangi tomorrow, we haven’t decided yet 😆 before heading to catch up with friends in Coromandel town.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s