auckland continued on in its rainy way. galleries/museums etc. then headed to the bay of islands on a little mini trip. it was my one and only experience of these organised bus tours. fine, but not for me. anyway it was grand. did a little cruise around the bay of islands and had fish and chips in russell. saw the giant kauri tree. it was a big tree. what else can one say when they see a big tree?
did one last overnight in auckland and headed to thames on the coromandel coast.
got the bus to thames. stayed in a really cool hostel there-rented a bike and cycled around the town to get my bearings.
rented a car the next day to explore the coast. stumble upon a scallop festival, pay a stupid amount to get in and then have to buy scallops-everyone drinking wine and partaking in drunken behaviour. as i am my only designated driver-i stroll around for a bit and head on. checked out catherdral cove and the hot water beach, which of course had no hot water when i was there. i stop in coromandel town for a latte and carrot cake and head back. just me and my ipod on the open road. beautiful, beautiful drive back down the coast.
back at the hostel the next day i take nina the dog for walk! and hide away from the bad weather for the afternoon. next stop rotorua.