. However we realised quickly why this spot was free, the waves would come in and batter down the wall that Jonny had just built every so often. This did manage to create a commaderie between fellow diggers though and eventually we did have a hot pool that lasted for about 20 minutes before the waves got it – I think Jonny would say it was worth it!
The next day we did a walk to Cathedral Cove which led to some incredibly beautiful bays and a archway in the rocks that the sea had created. We didn’t quite realise how big a tourist spot it was until when we were leaving we pass groups of people coming for Friday afternoon of the long holiday weekend – lucky we got there early! We then drove across the peninsula to Coromandel Town which was a nice little town with plenty cafes and restaurants. We stopped off for a coffee and picked up some smoked mussels which are the town’s speciality – we had them for dinner later, very tasty. Then we drove back down the other side of the peninsula – not quite as pretty but still a scenic drive before we joined the motorway to take us to Auckland. This is where we had to say goodbye to the campervan and actually be backpackers again – I’m not a fan of carrying my own bag again, it’s been a while!
We decided to move on (if not Allyson might not have got rid of us) and headed north to do a trip around the Coromandel Peninsula. The first day's drive involved driving along some more beautiful sandy bays until I kicked Jonny out the driving seat so I could drive so as not to suffer with carsick – whether it was my concentration on the road or the fact that Jonny wasn’t driving anymore – I immediately felt better and we continued the journey. Our main highlight of the day was the Hot Water Beach near Cooks Bay. At low tide you can dig your own hot pool, or in our case, Jonny can dig his own hot pool while I stand, watch and take the occasional photo – it looked like hard work! It was a bit crowded when we arrived but we managed to find a point on the beach where the hot water was coming up through the sand. I say hot but it felt boiling hot at points. At which point, Jonny starts to dig a pool so you can mix the cold sea water and hot thermal water to have an enjoyable temperature