New Chums Beach
The strangely named New Chums beach was apparently voted one of the Top 20 Beaches in the world in 2006 by The Observer. It is also quite hard to get to and requires a bit of local knowledge - in our case provided by our hosts at the B&B we were staying at in Coromandel. So although the day we chose was not ideal, reasonably warm but very cloudy, it was an irresistible proposition.
You park at the far end of Whitianga beach and carry on walking in the same direction, crossing a stream which flows into the sea here until you come to an area of large rocks at the end of the beach. You walk across the rocks - confident continuous steps worked much better than more hesitant ones - and after a while come to a track which leads through bush across a saddle to New Chums Bay.
The first view as you emerge from the bush was very impressive.
The beach is made of beautiful golden sand but there are rocky areas ay each end.
I decided to walk the length of the beach, past the surfing area, with a view back to the head in front of the saddle.
At the far end, there was a fine view back.
The return beach walk was three quarters of a mile. On the way back to Whangapoua, I climbed the head. It was an arduous and steep climb, but allowed the photo at the head of this post to be taken and also this one of the main Whangapoua beach and Opera Point at its left hand end.
Conditions: warm, cloudy
Distance: three or four miles
Rating: four stars
Earlier that day we had wondered around Opera Point - the other side of the headland in the photo above and been delighted by this wonderful gathering of Oystercatchers. The black and white ones are familiar enough from Poole harbour, but the all black Variable ones were new, and I have never been able to get so close. It took some time to get them in line for the photo, but eventually they cooperated.
Today's photos have a irritating brownish cast. Unfortunately, I accidentally altered the White Balance setting on my camera without being aware of what I had done. I have tried to improve the picture in iPhoto, but with limited success. The one picture which I took on Intelligent Auto is all too obvious. I suppose there is a lesson about being more careful and aware.