03 Mar 2017
Wild and rugged West Coast - New Plymouth to Auckland
We woke to the final day of our North Island adventure. First stop: Joe’s Garage for a tasty, filling breakfast. New Plymouth has lots of options for dining, with a range of affordability, but we wanted something filling and Joe’s is a favourite of ours. Over breakfast, we planned the route home. The Three Sisters and Elephant Rock, along the coast north of New Plymouth, has interesting geology, so we decided we would stop there early on the journey home.
Arriving at the carpark for the rocks, we noticed the tide was up a little. We walked around the coast until we could almost see the geological forms of the Three Sisters - three large rock formations left behind after the erosion of the cliff by the sea. We were able to take some photographs, but the tide had already come in too far, preventing us from getting right around to see the Elephant Rock. It was a bit frustrating, but what we could see what amazing nonetheless. If I was to return, I’d make sure to get the tide timing right so as to walk all the way around the rocks. On our return to the vans, we had to tread carefully as the rocks were very slippery: Akhil took a fall and ended up covered in mud and sand! Cleaned up and with our gear back in the vans, we hit the road again.
We decided to make one last stop at Raglan before taking the motorway back into Auckland city. We arrived at the surfing town, and parked up next to the beach. Raglan has great vibes - very surfy and laid back, with kids running around barefoot, and dreadlocked surfers carrying boards to and from the beach. The popular shops are the dairies selling ice cream and hot chips. We got a typically kiwi meal of a pie each and a takeaway coffee, and relaxed by the beach.
We eventually made our way back to Auckland, following the motorway (after an accidental detour down another unsealed road!), driving into the Big Smoke just ahead of the rush hour traffic.