North Coromandel, Ferrylanding, Opoutere
Wednesday 16th February
Camilla was back at the conference, so I took the car and explored north Coromandel. I drove up to Kuaotunu and wandered a bit around the beach there, watching the shags on the rocks, then I went out to what looked like a strip of fairly new holiday homes at Matarangi. I drove back over the ridge to Coromandel town, where I had brunch -- Coromandel is a fairly quiet little town, but with a few tourists.
I went off to do a "Taketoa" walk, but took the wrong route and walked for 40 minutes on an unexciting fire trail. The lookout when eventually found was ok, but weedy and hot, and the views were a bit obscured. So I went back to Coromandel for lunch and walked a little along the harbour foreshore, which was peaceful and offered good views.
Back in Whitianga, we tried a different pub for dinner. We packed late at night, so we could get away early the following day. Again there were nearby sirens in the night - perhaps a test of the alarm system?
Thursday 17th February
We spent the morning looking around Whitianga shops: Bluemoon Books was shut, but looked interesting, Mercury Bay Books, etc. We took the ferry over to Ferrylanding and walked to the Pa. Coming back to Whitianga, we looked at the little Mercury Bay Museum, which had some fascinating local history exhibits. Then we had lunch and eventually got away by 1pm.