When I wake up, I look at the map to see what I will do today. There is another touristic place I haven’t been yet, about two hours from where I am. Cathedral Cove is a beautiful beach, some people told me. It was on my original New Zealand todo list, but I skipped it because it was quite out of the route. Now I have another day to spend here, so I decide to visit it after all.

I’m thinking of calling this post ‘Racing in Coromandel’, but since the rental company told me it’s not allowed to race, I’ll call it driving. Let’s just say that the trip is a nice practice for my driving skills. The route goes via winding roads between hills filled with many trees. I think it’s a combination of getting hungry for breakfast and that the road is so inviting for it that I drive quite fast. I take a mental note that I won’t drive before breakfast too often. When I arrive at the coast after about two hours, I can see why this place is popular. The view of the bay with little islands and high cliffs is very beautiful. I walk the path down to Cathedral Cove. It’s a nice walk between beautiful plants and trees. I expected it to be a walk of a few minutes, but it actually takes half an hour to get to Cathedral Cove.

Driving through Coromandel
Walking to Cathedral cove 3
Me at Cathedral cove 2
Walking to Cathedral cove
Cathedral cove 2
Pretty flowers at the walk to Cathedral cove
Me at Cathedral cove
Me at Cathedral cove 3

While I’m walking to the cove, I’m hoping it’ll be worth the two hour drive and half an hour walk. When I arrive at the beach, I know it is. The bay is very beautiful and quiet. The cove is huge and you can walk through it to go to another beach. When I’m inside the cove I ask a lady to take my picture. She turns out to be from Belgium and we speak in our own language for a moment. She’s moved here more than 20 years ago and lives here now with her family. Her husband and three children join us and we walk together at the beach. After just meeting them for a couple of minutes they tell me that they have a house nearby and that they won’t be there the coming days and that I am welcome to stay there. I’ve never experienced something like this before and thankfully accept the offer. They write down the address and tell me that the doors aren’t locked and that they’ll be there in an hour or so before they go back to their house in Auckland. Blown away by such hospitality I walk back to my car.

I drive to the house and my mouth falls open. It’s a huge vacation house made of wood. It’s hard to believe this is true. I walk to the house and indeed it’s unlocked. No one is there. I know they’ll be here this afternoon to pack their stuff and that brings me on the idea to make pancakes for the kids. I go to town to do some groceries and when I return, the family is at home. They greet my just as heartily as on the beach and show me around the house. There is a smaller house next to the big house and that’s where I can sleep, but I can use both houses, they tell me. The smaller house is really cute and has a huge bed in it, I think I’ll sleep very comfortable tonight. It’s hard to describe how thankful I feel. I didn’t see this coming on the last couple of days of this adventure. A huge house where I can stay, who had thought that?

Cathedral cove 3
Huge vacation house where I can stay
My bedroom
Walking back from Cathedral cove
Eating pancakes together
My bedroom 2
Hot water beach
They tasted well - I love this happy face
Time to relaxe

I bake pancakes and we eat together and I play with the children outside. They have a swing in a tree and a tree house and a cable runway. We have a great time and then they have to pack their stuff to go back to their house in the city. For a moment I feel sad when they are gone. It’s such a lovely family, some of the kindest people I’ve met here in New Zealand.

I walk around the house and am still amazed that I can stay here. I get my food and some clothes from the car and enjoy a nice shower. Then I sit down at one of the comfortable couches with a cold beer and I watch a movie on tv. After camping for so many weeks it’s really nice that I can spend the last days of the journey in this beautiful house.