Day 42. East Cape Road to Lighthouse, eastern most Point we could drive to in NZ.
Beautiful scenic coastal drive mostly on gravel, lots of dust on this boiling hot day.
Reaching the end of the road below the lighthouse we decided against climbing the 800 steps up to the actual lighthouse on account of sweating man and dodgy hip.
Ohiwa Beach Resort – one of the cleanest, smartest powered sites we had been too. Beautiful spot, plenty of room and great facilities for young and old.
A short two minute walk through dunes took us onto the beautiful beach and crashing waves.
Day 43. Ohiwa Beach Scenic Reserve Peninsula Loop Walk 2.5 hour 4 miles.
This was an interesting route right from the start, walking through native bush, alongside the track, many plant markers helped with identification giving us a botany lesson on NZ Native species.
Out from the confines of the bush, open ground and coastal views over the Pacific Ocean and White Island views.
Up here a flat expanse had been converted into an small Arboretum for rare and endangered plants from the Bay of Plenty.
The terrain changed to lush hilly pasture land affording the most amazing 360 degree views and Mount monganuii -our next challenge – in the distance.
Through a gate we then started the descent down and back towards the beach.
Verbena bonariensis grows wild here….
Jasmine, its scent heavenly sweet covering a property’s perimeter fence as we walked past….
And then we had dropped right down roadside and on to Bryan’s beach where an unopened makeshift bar was set up.
A walk back along Ohiwa beach through the dunes and back to Aramoana.
Swim in the sea, waves crashing over us rest and reading….
Day 44. Drive to Mount Maunganui Tauranga for our overnight stop. White sand beach stretched as far as the eye could see, busy with surfers.
Mount Maunganui summit track 40 minutes to the top height 761ft
A hard walk up this extinct volcano rising up above the town and beach.
Flights of steep steps and rocky tracks, the heat made for a gruelling climb.
On a clear day our efforts would have been amply rewarded, as it was, the mist had refused to budge making the amazing 360 degree views over the entire length of the Bay of Plenty a bit murky.
Later in town a barber and hair salon were sought – after seven weeks travelling we were both in need of haircuts. Both striking lucky with choice, the muse especially so, who was cut and preened to perfection by a very conscientious German lady working in Adore Hair Design.
Long-suffering seemed very pleased the muse was no longer sporting the shaggy sheepdog look!