North Island Day 1: Auckland - The Coromandel
Trip Start May 20, 2008
72Trip End Apr 18, 2010
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Sounds easy yeah? It's not. As you dig the hole keeps filling in with waters. You dig, it fills and collapses. You dig some more. You build a small wall to stop the waves from lapping up the shore into your hole but still it fills in. By the end of it you don't want a hot water spring anymore. You want a cold water pool and an esky full of ice and beer. Then you realise you've been digging in the wrong spot anyway and the hot water bit is 5 metres to your right.
And shit is it hot! Yeah yeah, I know the clue is in the name of the place, it's not Tepid Water Beach or Little Bit Toasty Water Beach but seriously, it actually hurts. It should be renamed Really Fucking Hot Water Beach although we were the only ones bitching about it. You can take the pom out of England but you can't take the whinge out of the pom.
It didn't take too long for the novelty of potential third degree burns to wear off so we headed off to look for a place to crash for the night. I'd told Andrea we'd be camping for most of if not all of this trip on account of my laughable budget and she was like "yeah I love camping!" before remembering she hadn't been camping since she was 13 and that was in her back garden. This could be amusing.
The first place we went to was full, the second wanted at least two of your four limbs for an unpowered site so we headed back up the main road towards a DoC campsite on the map but it was getting late. Then we passed a sign for a bird And animal park at Mill Creek that also had campsites available so we duly swung a left onto an unsealed road. It felt like we were driving for ages up this remote little road in the middle of nowhere, I had visions of mutants emerging from the trees wielding chainsaws and waking up nailed to a wall with one or more of my organs missing as the signal bars on my phone dropped one by one.
Just as we were about to give up and head to the DoC site there was a sign telling us it was 500
I'd seen this movie.
Eventually we found the office round the corner and were greeted by an overtanned hippy lady clutching a duckling who took $12.50 each off us, gave us directions to the showers and told us to feel free to wander round and look at the birds and animals. She wasn't even a little bit sinister.
I kinda felt bad for doubting the place because it's actually really cool, they have heaps of farm animals and birds that they care for and the facilities at the campsite are brilliant. I jumped into the shower and a quantity of sand the Sahara would be proud of fell out of my knickers.
I spent the rest of the night expecting a phone call from Hot Water Beach asking for their sand back.