Derek was kind enough to drive Emma and I to the YHA Hostel to meet our bus. We were expecting the big Orange Stray bus but instead got a funky big white Ritchies bus. Seems Stray was short a bus and a bus driver so were improvising. After a very confusing briefing we headed up to Mount Eden for our last look of Auckland from an extinct volcanoe. Then headed South to the Coromandel Peninsula via the colonial town of Thames to our first stop - Hahei Beach. We met Manny (from South Africa) and Jill (from Germany) on the bus and decided to share a 4 bed with them. They had just gotten off th Crystal Cruise were they had been working and were a great pair. Unfortunately it was raining most of the way and when we got to the hostel it hadn't really cleared up so we decided to go as a group with Stew our driver to Cathedral Cove for a short hike and swim. The weather partially cleared and Stew and I swam and so did a few of the other girls. Then we headed back and had a BBQ and a few drinks.