Hot Water Beach and Cathedral Cove

Trip Start Sep 22, 2011
Trip End Aug 11, 2012

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Flag of New Zealand  , Auckland,
Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Hey, it's Alex.
We set off from Bay of Islands early-ish on Tuesday morning and drove 5 hrs south and through Auckland again. Got a really good view of the city going over the bridge.

It was low tide when we reached Hahei so we drove straight to Hot Water Beach & at first we thought the beach was lovely and quiet. This turned out to be because we'd parked at Surfer's beach and had to walk a little along the beach to reach the hot water area!  That was much busier!!  There was people & abandoned holes all over the beach.  Me and Paul tried to find some hot water but couldn't and were beginning to get a little confused at what we were supposed to do!  We walked along the surf towards the really busy part of the beach and suddenly noticed that the sand under our feet felt warm.  If you wriggled your feet down under the sand it was really hot!  It was almost refreshing when the freezing sea washed over them to cool it down.  It seemed the underground thermal pockets ran in one spot on the beach and looking up the beach it was clear all the available spots had been taken.  We got chatting to an Irish couple who let us join them in their hole.  There was about a foot of water and it was like bath water!!  Some parts were so hot it scalded!

After the beach we headed to Hahei beach.  We tried to find Cathedral Cove but turns out it was a good 45min walk so we decided to do it in the morning.  Went for a walk on the beach anyway.  We headed to hot water beach holiday park, had tea and went to bed.  Lots of early nights when camping! 

We woke up early to get to Cathedral Cove before the crowds.  Our car was the only one in the car park!  The walk was about 45 mins to the cove.  The beach was really beautiful & the rocks arched over one end of the beach - bit like a church entrance, hence cathedral cove.  Unfortunately we could walk under the arch incase of rock falls.  We went for a walk on the empty beach then it started to drizzle so we headed back up the track.  On the way back to the car we stopped at gemstone beach.  The water was so clear, it was beautiful.  We half wished we had snorkeling gear but the water is freezing!  Thankfully we made it back to the car without getting too wet.

Next stop is Hobbiton then Rotorua ....
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Mum and Dad H on

Great to catch up on your travel tales, can't wait to see more photos. Look after yourselves and safe trip to Australia. Love Mum and Dad xx

Mum n Dad K on

Should have taken some shower gel and made bubbles on the beach!

I hope you took some photos.

Not long to go before the next adventure down under. Aunty Patsy and Uncle Wade are looking forward to your arrival and they have stocked up on barbie food and drink!

Missing you both loads. xxx

Alex McMillan on

All sounding good guys! Shame about the weather but you are in New Zealand, walking on beaches and taking sailing trips so stop complaining! :P

Richard and Diane on

Hello there you two,
what an adventure you are having it sounds great keep enjoying it. Thanks for your Christmas card and attached letter, in respect of looking after your mum and dad Paul, your mum is no problem, but! your old man is something else, though it has been suggested that I may be leading him astray.
Just keep safe, keep enjoying it and have a really good Christmas and New Year. Keep your excellent travel notes coming.
All the best, Richard and Diane

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