On our way out of town the next day, we stopped for New Zealand essentials: Kiwis and a $10 3-liter wine box.

Matt's special place.

We had lunch on the way out of Coromandel at the famous Oyster Company Deli. Coromandel is famous for its mussels and oysters, and here they're freshly caught.

Mmmmm oysters. Color me happy.

The very nice owner sets us up with Oyster Bisque, mussels, and oysters...

Ooooooh raw oysters.

Oysters, prepare to please me.

Leaving Coromandel, and driving west to Auckland, the sun came out!

The lovely oceanside of New Zealand.

I conquer the lookout spot!

Self-portraiture at the Coromandel Lookout Spot.

More scenery...

...and more...

Matt conquers New Zealand!

A lovely French couple took this photo for us.

Driving the coast from Coromandel to Auckland.

We drove to Helensville, a tiny town about 20 miles north of Auckland, to spend the night. We were en route to Paihia in the Bay of Islands in the north. This is Malolo House, a renovated maternity hospital (note: every hostel in this country is a renovated SOMETHING).

Our amazingly lovely room inside Malolo.

The resident cat!! Oh, so adorable...

We once again thwarted NZ's overpriced, yet painfully mediocre, dining scene. We hit the fresh seafood bins for mussels, shrimp, and octopus, and my brilliant chef made CIOPPINO (aka bouillabaisse) in Malolo's kitchen!!