Thursday 23rd May 2013
We started the day with breakfast at 3rd Place, which had come highly recommended by the Lonely Planet. Christine had a light breakfast, which was delicious but left her wanting more; I didn’t make such a novice mistake and enjoyed my larger breakfast.
We were heading back to Hamilton for a couple of days but we didn’t want to go straight there so we went back via Tauranga on the Bay of Plenty. In the summer this busy port is inundated with tourists looking for sun and sand, according to the Lonely Planet it’s ‘as Riviera as New Zealand gets’. We were there on a windy day in late autumn and while the place wasn’t dead the empty blocks of holiday properties underlined that things were definitely off-peak.
We also got a feel for how beautiful the weather can be. We walked up to the summit of Mount Maunganui – it’s only 232 metres high – in glorious sunshine but once we got there the changeable New Zealand weather saw us get absolutely drenched by a passing shower.
After coming down the mount we drove via Cambridge and the Red Cherry Cafe (amazing scones) to the warm welcome of the Shands for a couple of days.
Distance travelled: 183km
Total distance travelled: 21,762km