Coromandel - Kauri Groves & The Waterworks
After two days in the area around Thames we made the drive to the Whitianga on other side of the peninsula. On the way we stopped at various places to visit natural and man made wonders.
The drive itself is just super scenic. It leads along the coast most of the way and offers wonderful view onto the ocean and of the tiny towns located there. The road is in many places lined by Pohutukawa Trees, which unfortunaltely weren't blooming while we visited, but it must be even more beautiful if they do.
Sideroads lead into the inner regions of the peninsual where there's dense new zealand bush, including some of the majestic Kauris. We went to see the "Square Kauri" and the walked the "Waiau Falls and Kauri Grove Lookout Walk" to get an impression of these ancient Trees.
We went by the "Waiau Falls and Kauri Grove Lookout Walk" to see a real Kauri Grove, one of the very few that still exist in the Coromandel Region. There were already a few cars parked when we got there, and a travel group just emerged a bus when we got out of the car. Obviously this one of the spots where everybody has to visit at some point.
Before the start of the trail was yet another Kauri cleaning station to make sure that people are aware of Kauri Dieback and that they should take extra good care to clean their equipment so as not to endanger the remaining trees here.
The walk itself is really short and mostly on wooden plankways, which is also supposed to help stop the spreading of Kauri Dieback. On the walk there is the Kauri Grove which contains a bigger stand of about seven or eight mature Kauri trees, and then a smaller one with the "Siamese Kauri" and two more. Those giants might be gone in just few years time unless Kauri Dieback can be stopped, so we took some extra time to enjoy the privilege of being here.
Further down the road we took another detour to also visit the Square Kauri Tree. On the way we came by "Waterworks" - a theme park showcasing funky sculptures that move or are interactive due to waterpower. It looked pretty interesting, so we gave it a shot and what a fun it was!
The sculptures are mostly built from old, discarded kitchen equipment, furniture, clothes and other things. All interactive elments run on waterpower, so the park is not only very special but also pretty sustainable. A nice combination and great to see that things like that can in fact work out pretty well. All the old junk and scrap metal on display remindes us a little bit of Muklukland in Tok, Alaska, where we had visited a few years back.
We especially enjoyed the interactive elements and the huge playground area. The playground area had all sorts of home build playground equipment, among those some very special ones like the Flying Bikes or a super fast Flying Fox for Adults only. Can't remember when we last had this much fun around a playground.
So we really thought it was great fun, and if you're ever in the area we'd absolutely recommend it.
More info can be found on their website:
This post is a result of our experiences in the Coromandel Region. We were not asked to or payed for writing this post.