After about 2 months of debating how to travel around New Zealand I decided to go with the Hop on Hop off bus. The company I ended up booking with was Stray, purely on the fact that they had a half price deal at the time and they hit all the spots I wanted to see. From the Farm I headed back to Auckland for a day then caught the Stray bus off to our first two stops Hahei Beach and Raglan.
Hahei is a small East coast beach town of 300 people situated on the Coramandial Peninsula. The beach itself is sheltered which makes for nice swimming were you’re not getting pounded by waves every 3 seconds. There is also a trail from the beach that heads northwest up the coast and leads to Cathedral cove. The cove is named after a large cavern cave that links it with Mares Leg Cove. Both coves are absolutely beautiful and it’s no wonder they used it for a scene in the movie Chronicles of Narnia, Prince Caspian.
So after arriving in Hahei some of my newly made friends and I busted out the hiking shoes and headed up to the coves. Took us about 1 hour 15 round trip and when we returned it was time to jump into some swimming shorts, grab some beers, and head back to the white/pink sand beach for some relaxing. Later that night our bus driver Rob cooked us up some yummy food on the grill followed by some tasty alcoholic beverages that gave us liquid courage to try the tree swings down by the beach. All in all it was a great way to start out my bus tour of New Zealand
The next day we headed off to Raglan, another small beach town located on the West coast. I was super excited for Raglan being it has one of the longest left hand breaks in the world. The break was featured in the movie Endless summer which is a classic surf movie of the 1960’s. I was hoping to rent a board and paddle out to redeem myself after my failed attempt in El Salvador because of not being in surfing shape. Unfortunately my excitement soon drained because when I caught site of the ocean it was as flat as a pancake.
Also Stray’s accommodation for the night was far out of town and away from the good beaches so for me Raglan was kind of a bust but I made the best of it and I ended up hiking down to a little cove for swim and back up to the lodge for some Thai green curry over rice courtesy of Rob the bus driver.
Stray recommendations: Don’t do the kayaking trip for 80 bucks. Save your money because there are way better places like Abel Tasmen on the stray route to kayak than Hahei.
Next travel post: Spelunking