We recently enjoyed a brief road trip around the central part of the North Island of New Zealand. The scenery was spectacular, the food was world class and it was a wonderful way to relax and re-energise. The Coromandel Peninsula is an area of New Zealand we had never visited before.
I puzzled about why, when I was a 19 year old backpacker travelling New Zealand with my friend Suellen, we didn’t go to this area. I soon realised that we’d probably been advised not to go there because we were hitch-hiking (oh yes, those were the days of being 10 feet tall and bullet proof!). It is an area where any lift would have to take you to the next ‘big’ town because there was nothing in between.
Fast forward to now and we relished being in such lush countryside driving through predominantly dairy and fruit farms, observing the bee hives carefully tended on most produce farms, the pigs, ostriches and alpacas. In other parts of the peninsula we drove through lush rain forest and beside stunning coastal scenery, more beautiful than anything I’ve seen anywhere.
The highlight was taking a cruise at Whitianga. Ken from Cathedral Cove Scenic Tours was the perfect host, knowledgeable, fun and aware of each of his clients, making sure we got the photos we wanted, were warm enough etc…… All the little things that make for an enjoyable tourist experience.
With my professional interest in career change and my personal interest in people’s stories I couldn’t help but ask him how he came to be doing this work. With delight he told me that he and his wife had always planned to move to this area but a redundancy hastened the process. Rather than moving five years later, as planned, they made the move to the Coromandel Peninsula and bought the tourist boat business. He looked at me and said, almost in a boyish way, “This is my work. This is what I do every day. How lucky am I!”
He had no idea that my professional life is spent helping people make major career changes, nor did he know what joy those words would give me. If only everyone could feel that way about their work!
Undeniably, where he works is spectacular. Enjoy these photos taken on the cruise, which includes Cathedral Cove and other scenery which was featured in movie The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian.