Plan Unstable

On our last morning in Mahia (Feb 12), we started heading North. Our original plan was to hit Opotiki, then start heading Northwest as far as the kids would allow, finally stopping in Waihi Beach.

One of the sights on the way to Opotiki was the Waoieka Gorge. This was a rainforest to the fullest extent. Steep lush hillsides, crazy twisty road, tight roads, and steep roads. It was also rainy, and very misty through this section of the drive. This was definitely the greenest area we had seen thus far. The hillsides were a little unstable in this area too. The rockfall warning sign mentioned it lasted 46 km, and it certainly didn’t lie. I saw lots of rock on the road, and at least one area where a complete lane was blocked by fallen rock.

So far we had been following highway 2, but just west of Opotiki we jumped on to a smaller highway that followed the coast and took us through Ohope. We ended up stopping in Tauranga for dinner. From Tauranga we called our destination in Waihi Beach only to discover that they had accommodation for us for one night only, not the two nights we needed. Plans needed to be rearranged.

On the road again we saw some amazing coastline. The beach extended as far as you could see and had the gorgeous turquoise colored water that looked very enticing. The huge swells crashing on the sandy beach were picture perfect. Since we were driving and the kids were happy we didn’t stop to take pictures. You’ll have to trust me that it was beautiful.

At the end of the day we made it to Waihi beach. Our place was just fine if not a little pricey.