After successfully navigating the roadways on the left side from Auckland we arrived in Thames for lunch! Our first look at the Coromandel area – lovely terrain with green seas, tropical lush vegetation, big skies full of clouds. We popped into a small organic food co-op on Pollen Street for some almond butter and rice crackers. I must eat gluten-free and I am finding NZ is very gluten-free friendly. Walking along Pollen Street we stopped at Danby’s for lunch and I was served a grilled chicken sandwich on gluten free bread! (not very common in the U.S. as yet). My grilled chicken, avocado, and fresh tomato sandwich was yummy as was Jay’s chicken sate wrap. Danby’s young wait staff was very friendly and helpful.
After lunch we continued driving north along Rt 25 to Tapu where we took a back road shortcut over to Coroglen, and then Hahei. Much of the backroad was unpaved but drivable if one is alert, cautious and up for a bit of adventure. We were surprised to see wild hydrangea growing – bright blue – among the tropical foliage.