Backpacking with Airbnb

backpacking, Travel

So with our next destination came the first of the long drives… five and a half hours to Whitianga (fit-ee-anga), although this would induce suicide on anything resembling the M62 or M1, cruising through forests on smooth roads and passing multiple insane view points along the way, the five hours soon passed. So following our interesting hostel experience we thought we would change it up a bit and give Airbnb a go (for those of you who aren’t familiar with it, Airbnb is a platform for people to rent a room out in their actual houses while they continue to live in them… strange I know). We were slightly anxious approaching the house where we would be staying for the next few nights, primarily brought on by the abandoned cars, run down houses and the large social services building on the doorstep, we began to wonder if this was New Zealand’s answer to benefits street. Anyway we parked up on the grass and on approach were greeted by a middle aged kiwi couple who were friendly and interested in all of our plans for the month, after a good chat they showed us to our room and we decided to have an early night, ready to visit Cathedral Cove in the morning. One thing we are becoming aware of is the trust that New Zealanders have in their communities, windows are left wide open all day when nobody is home and cars are left running with no owner in sight, it’s a refreshing environment to be in.

Our time in Whitianga has consisted of Cathedral Cove which looks like something plucked from a postcard, forest walks, incredible sea food in Coromandel town and today we hiked to a place called New Chums beach… not a shop in sight or any form of money making ventures, just completely unspoilt paradise. We also went to the Hot Water beach which is an area on the sand which the underlying volcano heats up to form boiling hot water, you are given a spade and literally dig your own hot tub – the combination of volcanic water and sea water makes for a bath like temperature. After struggling to make any serious headway on the hot tub, we began making jokes to a couple across from us who were also having difficulties, we decided to combine forces and made the best hot tub on the beach! The two guys Celene and Rieki were from Canada and we ended up chilling with them for a couple of hours and plan to meet them again at some point on our trip. In summary it’s been another brilliant leg of the journey and we are loving every minute of it.

Tomorrow morning we drive south down to Tauranga and are staying with relatives who have kindly put us up for the night before we climb Mount Maunganui (it’s not as intense as it sounds).

Jamie & Brogan

Instagram:

@broganharker

@jamiedenison1993

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