Clue Number 5 - The Birthday Finale
Mount Maunganui Travel Blog› entry 16 of 36 › view all entries
As luck would have it- considering my pure and untamed excitement - when we telephoned the tour company that was taking us out to The Island later that night, we were informed that the weather was too bad to sail out of the Wharf at Whakatane, and that it was more than likely that the trip wouldnt go ahead in the morning.
I tried to not be overly devasted - it was a massive dent in my happy mood- but as Alex had made SO much effort, It felt so wrong to be miserable. We would come back.... it wasnt too far from thames - only a few hours away- we would make a weekend of it once the summer was in full swing.
So relunctantly on the morning of my 24th birthday, we headed out of Whakatane, not on a boat to White Island, but steadily up the coast, north back towards the Coromandel.
I presumed that White Island had been the last of the clues, since that should have taken up the whole day - but lukcily Alex had one more trick up her sleeve. Clue Number 5 was another picture clue..... another unmistakable view. The view from the top of Mount Manganui.
It took only an hour or so to reach Tauranga - it was strange - I had looked at so many pictures of this place that it almost felt familiar - but not familiar enough to not get throughly lost in the first bit of actual traffic we had encountered since arriving in NZ (A massive bonus to NZ Road trippin!). Although after spending a further 20 minutes getting aquainted with the back streets around the port, we ended up in the town centre.
Anyway, Alex seemed to be on a mission again, eyes darting around all over the place, taking more than an average interest in our surroundings, looking at street names etc etc. Finally we pulled into the car park of an enourmous white washed hotel building - The Sebel Trinity Wharf - another suprise courtesy of my parents back in the UK. I'm normally a holiday park kinda gal, but tonight we would spend the night in a 'proper' hotel! Our room was incredible - the very best - a king suite with a balcony overlooking the water and the infinity pool.
It doesnt take too long to reach the top - although I will admit at one point we were overtaken by a couple clearly in their 70's......not at all embaressing!- and the views from every turn are unmissable. From one side you can clearly see the port and city of Tauranga, but the other shows a blissfully natural scope of the ocean and of downtown the Mount.
We had an awesome day - ending it with our first piss-up since arriving in the country. Happy birthday me! :)