After that we headed to Hahei Beach about 15 minutes north for 3 hours of seakayaking at Cathedral Cove. www.seakayaktours.co.nz
There are 3 marine reserves in NZ and this one was called Whangnui A Hei after a Maori. Legend has it that he thought the island looked his nose, nostrils and all. And then if he climbed to the highest point in the area, whatever he could see from there would be his to claim and own
. Words can't really describe the kind of scenery we’re finding around every corner. I hope the photos do it justice. We kayaked with a group and paddled about 4 miles. We paddled out and around Motueka island. On the outside of it we were so close that between the waves coming in and the waves bouncing back off the island it was pretty severe going. Easily the roughest water I’ve been in. Swells probably around 6 ft. Karen was laughing the whole time. She did great. However, there is a reason they sponge out the inside of the kayak when we’re done. I told her I had never been in water that rough and she was surprised. This place was different than our Abel Tasman and Okarito paddling. This time we were on open water. We were on AT but we were close to shore more. Part way thru we stopped at Cathedral Cove beach. Our guides made us moccachinno’s right on the beach. Pretty cool. We walked around a bit as there are actually 2 beaches with an open ended cave joining them. Lot’s of people there that had to hike for 40 minutes to get to the beach. Spectacular scenery. Brilliant as the Kiwi’s would say. Along the way our guide gave us some history lessons about the Maori and European influences in this area.
We got off the water about 5 pm and made our way to Cook’s Beach where Captain Cook first landed and named the area Mercury Bay
. At the beach I realized we were almost out of gas. Ooops. And where would we find gas out at the end of this peninsula. So we drove a few miles to where there was a passenger ferry across the bay that we wanted to see. Yes, a petrol station…..and the diesel fuel truck was due at any time, but who knew when for sure. So we got back in the CV and headed back to Hahei Beach and found diesel there. Phew!
Then it was on to Coromandel Town. And guess what? 50 miles of up and down *#!*^#@! winding roads again. One of the worst. After going thru Whenuakite we stopped for dinner in Whitianga and then thru Whangapoua. Only 3 W towns today. We arrived late, around 8pm and were still able to get a campsite…our last one! Since tomorrow is our day to turn in the campervan, we started to reorganize for our next part of our adventure back in Australia.
This morning we walked about 15 minutes from our campground to Hot Water Beach. We needed to catch the tide at just the right time. I had to take care of some business at home first so Karen went without me and I caught up later. When I got to the beach I was on my cell phone, and who do I see first, but Dave & Sue from England. They pointed out where Karen was among the 200 people laying, standing, sitting, and generally people watching in this circus of a natural phenomena. What a scene!