La Coromandel, in Pictures

A couple of weeks ago I had the great pleasure of spending several days in the Coromandel region in the northeastern part of the north island. It ended up being one of my favorite spots in New Zealand. . . seamlessly braiding the wild with the pastoral, set against the backdrop of the sea. This is one of the things I like best about this country–the land isn’t so finitely divided and parceled off into “farmland” and “wildland” and “humanland”as it often is in the states–rather it is all sort of seamlessly woven together. Many of the tramps I’ve been on cross over private land. You’ll be walking through a long stretch of native forest, then suddenly the sky opens up and you are in a field with cows or sheep warily regarding you. This is something I will really miss.

I camped at the very top of the peninsula,
tucked between rolling pasture, native bush, and the ocean.
Walk this way.
Beginning of the Walkway Hike.
Nikau Palm’s pale new buds.
Palm trunk rings look carved, not grown.
Cloudy day, typical view along the Walkway.
Not your typical bovine habitat.
Flax (Phormium) plants are all over New Zealand.
Not at all like northern hemisphere flax, although it is also used as a natural fibre.
Flax weaving (raranga) is a very important traditional Maori art form/utility.
Rocks! Water!
Fuzzy head, sleepy face.
The amazing pohutukawa (Metrosideros excelsa) tree,
all twisty and wizardish, they line the curvy gravel drive up the coast.

Checking out the blue view.
More rocks! More water!
Bent to the earth.
In repose.
One of many delicious swimming holes.

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