The first stop on our NZ adventure was Thames, a town at the south western end of the Coromandel Peninsula in New Zealand’s North Island. It is located on the Firth of Thames close to the mouth of the Waihou River.
As soon as we landed in Auckland our dear friends Meagan and Byron collected us from the airport and drove us to their place to stay for a few nights. Having just emigrated to NZ themselves, they were so excited to show us their part of the country. The hour-long drive from Auckland to Thames was filled with long straight roads, stunning mountains, then rugged coastlines and glistening sea. What a winter wonderland!
At peak season this is one of the prime holiday destinations and we can’t wait to come back and experience it in warmer temperatures! This time our visit included basic new country stuff like having a shower and overcoming jetlag as well as some very important admin: getting driving licenses, opening bank accounts and registering for tax numbers to enable that all important first pay check to be processed. We also spent time going for beautiful beach walks, enjoying the stunning coastal route to and from town and sipping delicious coffee. There is a plethora of quirky coffee places in Thames, our favourites being Sola Café, where we had the most delicious peppermint hot chocolates and Coco Coffee Bar which served the best flat whites and homemade cakes.
In style true to form, the boys hit the beach for obligatory water sports before sunset, despite the cool temperatures. On our next visit, when the temperatures rise here, we will be stopping off at all the tourist spots: Hot Water Beach, Cathedral Cove, cycling the Hauaki Rail Trail and walking The Pinnacles!