Listening to:
Bon Iver

I am standing on top of a small hill but I feel on top of the world. I am alone; my company is made up of the mountains, forest and the ocean.

I breathe slowly, my breath fresh with the breeze that blows through the nearby wild flowers. My heart feels full, as if before it was an empty box just waiting to contain this moment. I feel so wonderfully smitten with this country, and for once with my fragile sense of self, happy and proud of myself for making it to the other side of the world. The crystal blue of the ocean shines as the sun emerges through the cloud and in that moment, I am completely awash with awe.


* * *

Coromandel Town is small, nestled among the mountains and tucked away from the rest of the world. I decided to pay it a visit for two reasons: I heard it was absolutely beautiful and a friend I used to work with lived there.

I arrived and made my way to the tiny tourist information office to find out more about what there was to see. A hippie American lady sat behind the desk mentioned an old forest nearby, which immediately caught my interest. However, it did involve a short drive, which was a problem for me as I couldn’t drive.
“You could go with this young lady here,” she suggested, gesturing to a blonde Swedish girl who had just popped in to ask for directions.
“Er, yeah, sure ok. If you don’t mind?” I asked the girl.
She looked as baffled as me but kindly agreed.

It transpired that she was doing a road trip around New Zealand with her mum in quite possibly the largest camper van I have ever seen. It bore close resemblance to a truck. I clambered in the front with them, soon realising the mother didn’t speak English. The three of us spent a bewildering, but nonetheless pleasant, hour in the woods together. It was a damp, grey, day but once we were in the forest it didn’t matter as we were sheltered by the green.


As it was raining so much, I went to see whether B had finished work early. Our friendship began in a hazy drunken blur during work drinks. It took an unsurprising amount of time for the two of us to start drinking.  We started at three in the afternoon and  continued well into the night. It was like he never left.

I woke up on the sofa the next day with head pounding, a worryingly dry mouth and a churning stomach. I had a trip to New Chums beach lined up for today, a gift from past Ellie at the tourist information centre.

Just keep breathing. Drink your water. 

I tentatively sipped water, worrying it might come back up, as I optimistically packed a lunch for later.

The water didn’t stay down.

I boarded the shuttle bus and it began its winding journey through Coromandel Peninsula. The view was breathtaking, but unfortunately I had to remind myself to keep breathing for other reasons.  

The driver explained how to get to New Chums beach. It wasn’t developed and in order to get there you had to walk through a stream, climb over rocks and walk through a forest. It was voted one of the world’s top ten beaches, so the walk was, apparently, worth it. The driver assured us it wouldn’t take longer than 30 minutes.

Walking through the stream was fine – merely a paddle in the ocean –  then I began to climb over the rocks.

Oh God. What have I done?

I had to stop, standing on a rock and hating past Ellie for thinking one more drink won’t hurt, several times over last night.

I kept going, eager for the shade of the nikau and pohutukawa trees. When I reached them and began walking, I was relieved to find the rest of the way was mostly flat. The sense of adventure was slowly trickling back in as I maneuvered myself over a couple of tree trunks.

As soon as I arrived on the beach any sluggish, hangover, feelings were immediately forgotten. I’d never had one fixed so quickly, but nor had I seen a beach quite like this before.


It was quite possibly one of the most beautiful beaches I had seen in my life. It was so small but so spectacularly golden. The sand was surrounded by lush green hills, its edges dotted with trees. For the few hours I spent there, I just could not get over how utterly serene it was. I giddily paddled in the sea, soaking in the sunshine and contentment.

Listening to
Tom Misch



* * *

I arrive back in Coromandel Town, eager to explore more. I make my way up to the look out. I arrive at the top and put my headphones in, wanting to add to this memory with a song, in the hopes it will help capture this feeling.


Listening to:

Bon Iver

I am standing on top of a small hill but I feel on top of the world. I am alone; my company is made up of the mountains, forest and the ocean.




2 thoughts on “Coromandel

  1. Pingback: Hot Water Beach | The Little Sail Boat

  2. Pingback: Nelson – The Little Sail Boat

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s