Day 1 of 18 with a group of 8 from England

Day 1 of an 18 day tour with 8 from England

A good first day. We met briefly last night and several I had dinner with at a restaurant on the Auckland waterfront.

Today we departed the hotel at 9am. I think one of the group was still away in fairy land recovering from his long haul trip from England to here as he arrived at the vehicle supposedly ready to go, but no suitcase. I politely asked if he was travelling light and he looked at me strangely then saw the suitcases and the penny dropped so to speak.

Once finally ready we headed over the Auckland Harbour Bridge, did a quick U Turn at the first exit purely so they could see the city from the North Shore side of the harbour. From there a trip around the water front and up to a viewing area for photography. Then on to Mt Eden for even better sweeping views of Auckland and more photographs. And then the heavens opened. A huge deluge of hail and rain with a bit of lightning thrown in for good measure. Thank goodness we ad completed our brief sight seeing trip around Auckland.

Off we head for Coromandel Peninsula. Two nights staying in the beautiful Tairua. I know the accommodation well having stayed several previous tours. Lunch in the township of Thames. Gave my guests an hour there before heading for the Tapu/Coroglen Road. I had previously checked none get car sick and warned them this was a very narrow, winding metal road. But the alternative was the main road which was faster but no where as scenic.

The heavens again opened. Heavy hail that turned the road white followed by exceptionally heavy rain. Not the best road to be on in a tour van but knowing the road well I knew to just drive with caution.

We stopped at the giant square Kauri Tree. Needed wait in the vehicle until the weather cleared enough for them to get out. I had hoped to launch the drone here but weather just was not favourable for it. So stick with the normal cameras. 2 in use today, my large Canon with new memory card which appears to have corrected a previous fault, and my pocket size Sony. I find the Sony great for just a quick snap shot and the odd video. No where as sharp as the Canon but fulfils the role I need it to do.

Not a great photography day but then it was never going to be around Auckland or on the drive we did today. Tomorrow a few beaches to visit but other then that a rest day for the group to help get over the jet lag before we get into the tour proper

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