Welcome to a Whole New World…! #2. Where I show you somewhere that is not quite Auckland, but… close enough to do in a day trip or even a long afternoon.
Port of Waikato is where the Waikato river meets the sea, or more accurately where the sea meets Waikato river.
It is windy and wild and west coast! Here men fish, mussels cling to rocks for dear life and midnight blue sand meets a pale frothy ocean. Sylvia’s café is about your only choice in terms of nourishment – but it is bloody excellent. I ordered the chicken and bacon burger and did not regret it. Here is a review, I’m not surprised to find out that Sylvia is a chef! It is a playful and relaxing café where both toddlers and puppies can roam free.
The region is also home to famous limestone formations such as Weathertop Hollow from Lord of The Rings. It is well worth a drive through the countryside to soak it up. While you are there I recommend another café stop ( damn Aucklanders and their coffee ) at Nikau Cave & Café. The Café is eccentric and beautifully landscaped in native plants (which I adore – see a Whole new world…! #1).
Please bring grippy shoes, and a change of clothing + head torch if you plan on visiting the caves, whilst these are beginner level caves (ie. you can stand up the entire way through) you will still be ‘caving’. The cave network runs for 1km and follows a stream the entire way through – you will get wet.
There is a Nikau grove & waterfall nearby, the map they give you is terrible, the waterfall is far away and it is muddy but do go for a wander – the bush is stunning even if you never make it to the end!
Getting to the end is never really the point right?