As we traveled south towards Cooks Beach on the Coromandel Peninsula, we were amazed at how much the scenery reminded us of home. At points it appeared we were driving from Napa to Bodega Bay, only on the other side of the road! The green hills, different birds and endless grazing cows made for a beautiful drive. We arrived in Cooks Beach, a small beach community on the east coast that was pretty sleepy while we were there, but looks to be busy in the summer. We stayed at The Mussel Bed, a Bed and Breakfast owned by Chris and Paul that has 3 rooms in the guest wing and a self contained large cottage as well as the owners home all set in beautiful gardens next to a stream.
In the end, this turned out to be a cheaper option than staying in a hotel, since we had a wonderful breakfast included! Our room was perfect, homey and quiet, we were the only guests for the 2 nights we stayed. Chris and Paul were so friendly and helpful and the breakfast each morning was amazing! The orange juice was fresh squeezed from the oranges off their tree in the back yard and homemade breads and muffins were included. We even got to take some oranges for the road when we left. This was by far the best food we had eaten since leaving the cruise.
The first night we took the little ferry over to Whitianga (pronounced fit-e-anga) for dinner at a little pizza place. During the day, we took some drives around the countryside and explored “Cathedral Cove” where they filmed part of Narnia. This was a great hike, even on a rainy day, that took us through some really cool trees and along a beautiful coastline before heading down to the beach and cove.
Our second night, we had dinner at Eggsentric, an eccentric little place full of art whose owner Dave is also the chef, waiter, and entertainment. He took our order, cooked our food and even played some songs on the guitar in front of the large fireplace. Dinner was great, dessert was delicious and Dave was awesome. We highly recommend Eggsentric and The Mussel Bed if you are in the area.