East Cape Road Trip - Day 4

Updated: Jul 18, 2020

Waking up after a great sleep at the Barrington's Motor Lodge. I must say, the lady there was super friendly and went out of her way to give us a booklet on the East Cape road which we have enjoyed, reading about each little town throughout the day. Highly recommend grabbing a copy of that if anyone is making the same trip.


Sunrise was non-existent again. We hummed 'n haad about whether to actually get up and attempt it. We aren't here to sleep in (though the later sunrises do allow me some sleep in time - yay!) so we got up and got moving.


We went over the hill to Ohope Beach. Spotted a log and thought might have potential but no such luck. Needed some more reflective action there.



After that, we were on the breakfast mission (or, more importantly - coffee). We walked in (and out) of two different cafes before finding something Rodney would eat... Did think about going to The Bean because we had been there before but couldn't remember if it was any good last time (thus the blog - to track where we've been and where was good). We finally decided on Baxter's Cafe and tried to get 2 x ham and cheese croissants but ended up with 2 x bacon and egg croissants. Gutted. What was worse was that the coffee was too hot to drink straight away too. Really needed caffeine at this point. Gutted x 2. The lime milkshake was apparently good though and the B&E croissant was tasty but just not what we ordered.


We were heading over the cape today to stay at Tokomaru Bay so went and stocked up on supplies before checking out. The most important supply being the tripod! Went back in and decided on the Manfrotto 190 ball head tripod. The key feature in the decision was the quick snap leg locks which the runner up didn't have (a very worthy opponent - the Benro TGP17A with its gymnast's legs). BTW Rodney made fun of me all day for a mind-blank moment I had yesterday, worried that the tripod was too tall for me... OMG what a doofus.


Finally, we hit the road - knowing it was about a 4 hour drive and the way we stop all the time, likely to be much longer than that. We saw many photo opps along the way which I would have loved to stop for but there just was no place to stop on those windy roads, or where there was there would be an obstructed view of the shot. If we ever do this roadie again, may need to wait until we have a drone so we can make the most of the amazing scenery on offer.


We passed through Opotiki, thought about finding the cycle bridge which looked kinda cool in the East Cape booklet but couldn't find where it was so gave up and kept going. Maybe next time.


The next stopping point was for coffee #2 and to try and find some pics for this blog - can't drive all that way with no photos to show for it! The stop was at the super friendly store in Omaio for a coffee (great temperature and froth but really weak brew - maybe forgot the coffee altogether?). Nothing great at this location either, sorry. Fingers crossed for weather improvements...



Along the road a bit further, the next stop was at the Anglican Church of Raukokore. A few snaps of the church and a few of this cool tree that stood out and made a great subject. In better lighting and a higher tide, this could be a great photo location. Add in a clear night's sky for some astro and we could have a lot of fun.



After sufficient "frolicking on the rocks" as per the East Cape guide, we kept going. A decent drive along windy inland roads to get to Hicks Bay. Almost missed it as you have to turn off the main road but as soon as I mentioned "It has a pier" the car was pulled around and to Hicks Bay we went. Rodney and piers LOL. Had him climbing a tree to get a higher perspective even.



Getting lost for time is so easy... I think we spent nearly an hour at that pier. A quick flick over to Onepoto Bay, as it looked so photogenic from the cliffs overlooking it, but much preferred the aerial view that was only attainable from the Hicks Bay Lodge up on the hill (or drone) it seems.



Wasn't disappointed in going to that bay though because it had such a cool S-bed in the road that I had fun trying to capture. Figured out my macro lens is the best for these kinds of shots. Always learning and every pic taken is honing the photography skills.



Running out of time, we stopped stopping everywhere, bookmarked things to come back to see tomorrow, and made straight for our accommodation in Tokomaru Bay - a lovely Air BNB called Macrocapa Heights, based at a goldfish farm (of all places?!) Hopefully we get time to explore this place a bit too as I'm sure there will be some photography gems around here. The host was warm and welcoming, even put the fire on for us before we arrived. There's a good selection of coffee sachets here and the BnB is spacious and warm. Very nice find. Nevermind the 4WD worthy driveway, our front-wheel drive handled it fine! (touch wood)


After settling in, it was apparent that sunset was going to be blah but we went and explored anyway. There are some cool abandoned buildings around these parts, some you can actually get inside! We went on a little adventure through the one down by the pier - part of (or at least next to) an old wool store. Very eerie feeling walking through a derelict building but so interesting.

Colour or black and white?


Sunset still wasn't promising anything but we made the most of the fading light with the Tokomaru Bay Wharf. A difficult pier to compose with little access but I like what I've done with the place.




This colour splash is probably my favourite from today. At first I saw Rodney taking the typical "straight down the pier" shot and thought "Why? It is only boring concrete..." Then when I got to the pier I noticed the colour from the growth on the tracks and edges and knew I had to do something with that!



Dinner from one of the two options in town (the first one we came across) - the Te Puka Tavern. It was good to see a local spot so busy, even if it did mean waiting over half an hour for dinner. I ordered the nachos and was not disappointed. Rodney had the restaurant version of fish n chips... I also may have had a choc brownie for dessert. One of those "can't resist" items on the menu. I'm on holiday, calories don't count, right?


I'm afraid my 3-day streak may in jeopardy as I round the end of day 4 and have not really edited my images yet, but at least my blog entry is typed up. Of course, by the time I post this, the photos will be added but just know I'm falling behind...


Oh, and we've decided the theme for this road trip is MOODY (the skies, not me!)


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