We head off from Pakiri Beach towards Leigh so we could catch the coast line and bit more of not so touristy parts of NZ . Leigh is the closest town to Pakiri Beach and we turned back from bitumen to dirt. True back waters of the country or so we thought. Two kms in we hit the side that said road narrows to single car with passing bays. Photo included in the photos. We were lucky to get through to the bitumen and wide road stretch before meeting two trucks.
Leigh was a cute little village which had great coffee and very little else. Lots of empty and vacant shop fronts.....
We continued to meander our way down the coastline to Auckland stopping to admire the gorgeous views of Hatfield’s Beach which as we went through appeared to be quite a large place and perhaps the Gold Coast for Auckland.
Straight through Auckland and headed for Whatawhata ( translation - Fatafata) where it was reported we could find the Underhill earth hut from The hobbit movies. This according to locals is not true. We ate lunch at the “The Backyard” cafe and bar where we got a thirst quenching beer with lime - I really enjoyed it and you know how I feel about beer.
Backing the car we headed for Rotorua to our home for the next two nights at Cozy Corner Holiday Park where we have a 2 bedroom cabin with a shower ... it is right on the lake and near some thermal springs .
Late this afternoon we headed up in the gondola to the sky view for a great view of the lake and Rotorua. A beautiful glass of the house wine - loving. The NZ chardonnays we’ve had so far - with a shared pizza as we watched the skyline change from afternoon to sunset and evening.