Indiana June is the main character in a real-life Pick-A-Path Adventure story. She is cycling the globe and letting people vote to decide what she does next. Her fate is in your hands so get voting to choose how the story unfolds. Read more…

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Saturday, 03 December 2011

Hitching a ride on the Coromandel Peninsular

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The Coromandel Peninsular sticks out from the north island like the thumb of hitchhiker, maybe that's what inspired me to accept a couple of rides to break up the relentless hills. My first night was spent in Whangamata where I was treated to a fish dinner at Ocean Sports Club and a story telling session with old friends. The town swells over summer when holidaymakers descend en-masse to make the most of the gorgeous beaches and native bush. I picked a particularly busy weekend as news spread there was a dead humpback whale on the beach that needed burying. The smell was enough to make you retch but I was fascinated watching the diggers work in tandem to roll the great beast down the beach to its final resting place. One exciting event was followed by another with the Whangamata Christmas parade, where half the town was on a tractor float and the other half was waving them on.

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After Whanga I bounced to Whitianga where my host Sally took me to Kuaotunu beach for a walk along the golden sand and pizza at Luke's Kitchen. I was well impressed with the ordering system where a waitress attaches the order to a bicycle wheel which is then wheeled to the pizza chef.  

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To avoid the traffic cycling into the city I opted to catch the ferry from Coromandel town to Auckland which gave us a couple of hours to explore the township. Gold was discovered here in 1852 and proof of this can be found everywhere you look, particularly in the colonial architecture and historic buildings dotted about. They also do a mean Whitebait fritter if you're into that kinda thing.

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The residents of the Coromandel are renowned for living a hippy, organic, artsy-fartsy, pot-smoking lifestyle. (Plus there's also the rich folks moving to buy up and develop some areas.) Potters and artists make up one of the main professions in the district and the most famous example is Barry Brickell, a potter whose home-made Driving Creek Railway has turned into a huge tourist attraction. In true kiwi style, when faced with the problem of how to move clay up a steep hillside, he built his own railway back in the 70's. It goes up steep inclines into the bush until you reach the 'Eye Full Tower'. Eat your heart out Paris!


I loved catching the Discovery 360 ferry from Coromandel to Auckland, even on a wet and wild day it was a relatively smooth crossing and I got a great view of Auckland harbour and the Viaduct as we arrived.

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I'm getting near the end of the NZ leg of this adventure and another one will soon begin in South America. I can feel nervously ticklish butterflies zooming around my stomach at the thought ... 

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Latest Poll Results
New York: What will Indiana June do in the big apple?
21% Track down and visit Oliver Jeffers:
Renowned Children's storybook writer & illustrator
11% Walk the High Line:
A linear park built on a 1.45-mile section of the elevated NY Central Railroad 
11% Be a NYC detective for a day: 
Part game, theatre and tour to discover some of NYC's most off-the-beaten path spots
13% Explore the City Hall Subway Station: 
Abandoned & hidden from the public for 60 years
12% Flying trapeze class:
Hone her circus skills learning how to fly on a trapeze 
30% NZ Flag + Statue of Liberty:
Bodypaint the NZ flag on her body and go up the Statue of Liberty
2% Go to Queens and find a 'Nanny' sound-alike:
Video someone with the nanny accent saying "noo Zealand, i love that place"
Voting closed | 204 VOTES
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