11 February 2014
Mount Maunganui via Opotiki,
and the Waioeka Gorge
to Gisborne (Poverty Bay)
We wake up very early, as early as 06:00, because Karin gets a Whatsapp of her daughter Gea telling us that on the Winter
Olympics our "boys" had become 1, 2 and 3 at the 500 meter speed skating. Oh well now we're awake lets dress and go to the beach. The sun is busy to rise above the horizon and that all looks beautiful out there. It is also busy on the beach because the Rescue Unit of the Mount having their training. We are looking at a large group of "saviours" who all do nothing else but run into the sea and then swim through the breakers and then gather together on the beach again. I think we have seen this ritual at least 20-30 times. Speaking of condition. We take a short walk on the beach and then return to our campervan where we have our shower and then a good coffee. After the coffee, we pack the campervan again and leave the campsite. We park the campervan on the promenade, directly to the beach. We stand on a viewing platform where a live webcam is installed. Just contacted the home front for a wave of us, but the first we tried to contact was not at home and by the other the webcam did not open. Pity, could be fun, live waving from 20.000 km....
Video Mount Maunganui
On the beach in front of the plateau is a beach volleyball court with tribunes. The field itself was just prepared by 3 men and we, as volleyball players ourselves, are always curious about the level. We quickly saw through that the exercises they were doing that they were players at a high level. Just a little chat with them and it turned out they knew famous players Richard Shelter and Reinder Nummerdor personally. It was the top duo of New Zealand. They were trying to qualify for a tournament into Netherlands in August at the beach of Scheveningen. We also did a 10 minute workout with 1 of their many balls.
Then we walked further along the Boulevard and I was able to score my first Tip-Top ice cream. Delicious ice cream scoops for half the price we have to pay in the Netherlands and even 2 times bigger. Therefore benefit increases to 4 times cheaper for the economists among us. Then we explored one of the rock peninsulas (Moturiki Island) in the sea that can be reached from the beach. Some nice climbing and then a good view over Mount Maunganui with the big city Tauranga behind it. Back on the beach we had a last look at the Beach volley ballers and then returned to the campervan and we leave Mount Maunganui behind us.
On Highway 2 through Te Puke and passed along Whakatane (where we took the boat to the volcanic island White Island in 2011) we drive to Opotiki. At Owakeri we see another branch of Fonterra. We stop and take some pictures; Striking is that every tanker trailer that comes back is first taking a shower, or so you can describe the car wash street. And then they go fresh and clean further in the processing street. Fonterra has really big establishments.
Just before Opotiki we see on the horizon White Island with the constant white plume of active volcanism above it. Funny and it retrieves beautiful memories. The last part we drive on the coastal road here and at some places they are carved out of the rocks. Beautiful views over the clear blue ocean, often with a powerful branding.
At Opotiki you can choose; The coastal road up along Highway 35, but that has a length of nearly 330 kilometres and winds along the coast and many "old" fishing villages or take Highway 2 across the headland and by the eye directly to Gisborne. This way to Gisborne has a total of 146 kilometres but there is a gorge which we did not know the existence in advance. This gorge the Waioeka Gorge has a length of 60 kilometres. It is one of the longest and most beautiful canyons (Gorges) of the country. He meanders through bright and sparkling rivers by native forests hills and high land. It is the Waioeka Gorge Scenic Reserve and the narrow road and the enormous altitude make a great impression on us. In one word magnificent. Everything comes to an end, so also this beautiful gorge and then we drive in a short time to Gisborne a small town of 40,000 inhabitants. Another travel day of almost 300 kilometres behind us, but with, along the way, just great views and a beautiful nature.
Video Waioeka Gorge
The Top 10 Holiday Park of Gisborne is located directly on Poverty Bay. The "bay of poverty" got this name after Captain James Cook arrived in this bay on October 7, 1769, and went ashore.
This first landing led to the death of six local Maori warriors and Captain Cook was only been able when he left to take some herbs against scurvy with him. Therefore he called the Bay "Poverty Bay".
Meanwhile, the region around Poverty Bay with plenty of sunshine and fertile soil is now one of the more fertile areas of New Zealand and famous for its Chardonnay, fruit, vegetables and avocados. It is also one of the cities with the most sun hours in New Zealand, so who would not want to live over there.
The Holiday Park is situated on a narrow beach and is separated from that beach by a fence which is not pleasant. You can use the obtained access pass to open the gate of the tennis court, and so have access to the beach. We put the campervan on the assigned place connect the power and do first our washes in the washing machine at the campsite.
In line with the campsite is the harbour of Gisborne in which a large coaster is loading. We didn't hear noises or had trouble of the loading but it looks like a big Christmas tree so many lights are there when a ship loads.
When we got to the coast it was drizzling but at nightfall is still dry again and we see the sun go under like a fiery orange ball. We had another wonderful day in our beloved New Zealand. Tomorrow we continue in the direction of Napier, the Art Deco city of Hawke's Bay.