We had originally planned to be in Taupo by now, and had thought today would have been a good day for the Tongariro Crossing but last week we discovered that we could get tickets for one of the marquee fixtures in the Super XV competition: Hamilton Chiefs versus Canterbury Crusaders.
After a lovely lazy morning we visited the Hamilton Gardens for lunch. The public gardens are owned and managed by the council and attract 600,000 people a year (not surprising given that it’s also free). The gardens were first developed on the city’s waste disposal site in the 1960s and since then they’ve got bigger and better. Continue reading Hamilton Chiefs vs Canterbury Crusaders→
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.
Tonight we were going to spend our first night with relatives in Hamilton, Waikato but before descending on Christine’s cousin John and his family we added a significant detour to our journey. We hadn’t set aside any time to visit the Coromandel Peninsula and so our only option was to do a driving tour round it in one day.
After an absolutely superb breakfast at the Palm House we set off and managed to get to Thames (at the base of the Peninsula) in about 3 hours. After stopping for some supplies we set off on State Highway 25, a wonderful road that hugs the coast all the way round. A gorgeous sunny morning made for perfect driving weather.