|First note, Whitianga is said 'Fit-ti-an-ga' as in Maori, Wh is pronounced as F. Hmm. Not sure if I already told you that, anyway, the bus leaving Auckland in the morning was late, so we didn't get to go to Mt.Eden for 360 degree views and instead headed straight for the motorway. We stopped at a town called Thames to buy lunch stuff, apparently so named as it reminded Captain Cook of the Thames... we weren't convinced! Then we drove through the Coromandel ranges and a town called Tairua, which means two tides. This is because there are 2 tides there, you think it's gone out, but then it comes back in before going out again! Weird. Our next stop was at Te-Whanganui-A-Hei Marine Reserve for a 1 and a half hour walk through some native bushland before ending on a really nice beach where there's a Cathedral shaped archway in the volcanic formations, hence the cove being named Cathedral Cove. Every island we saw out in the sea was a volcano or formed by a volcano, and there were a lot! Due to our late departure in the morning, when we got to Whitianga we just had a little stroll around the town before having Spag Bol cooked for us by the hostel owners, nice!