And so we drove down from Bay of Islands and out towards Karekare. Rob thought it would be a good idea to try out the tent for the night and also see a sunset at the coast. The weather looked good and so we booked a site near the beach.
Our first issue was that the GPS was giving us directions to where we needed to go but the roads were closed because of land slides from the cyclone that hit last February. Eventually we ended up at the beach at Pihia and a friendly local told us one of the roads marked closed and for access only would actually get us to Karekare.
Our second issue was that the car park was quite remote and therefore we wanted to take all our electronics etc with us as well as the camping gear rather than leave them at risk in the car. We looked like a couple of pack mules!
Our third issue was that the campsite took about 40 minutes to get to, tramping across the beach with all of our gear. Although it really was lovely and we were the only ones there. It was fairly primitive, although there was a loo and also a decent covered sink area to cook food and clean up. It was called the tunnel point camp ground which should be obvious from one of the photos below.
Our final issue was the pouring rain and strong winds that sprang up overnight (not on the weather forecast) although it did give us a chance to test the waterproof and robustness of our tent and it passed with flying colors. We did get very wet in the morning packing up and carrying everything back to the car.
We started the drive to Tauranga stopping off at the Karangahake gorge walkway which was the site of a very large gold mining factory in the past. A quick stop a little further on for a very nice snack at the railway station cafe up the road and then on to Tauranga. We are here for a few days staying with a friend of ours and being spoilt.