NEW ZEALAND (4)

CATHEDRAL COVE & HOT WATER BEACH, HAHEI

MARCH 2019

ROAD TRIP (PART 2)

We were happy to see that most of the clouds were disappearing and that we could expect a sunny day… because today we are going to visit Cathedral Cove and later tonight we want to relax on the famous Hot Water beach at Hahei.

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On our way to Hahei

Cathedral Cove

The famous Cathedral Cove is one of the ‘must visit’ sites on the Coromandel Peninsula. Due to increase traffic in the area, we had to stop at a car park and then made use of a bus to the beginning of the trail that leads down to Cathedral Cove (there is a walkway as well that takes a bit more than an hour, but we decided to take the ‘lazy option’ 😃).

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The view point at Cathedral Cove

Apparently, scuba diving and snorkeling in and around Cathedral Cove is a wonderful experience. So are their kayak tours to the cove … next time …

To get down to Cathedral Cove, we walked through the New Zealand World War I Memorial Forest. There is a nice footpath one can follow down the forest and then you get to many steps (like in really many) to walk out on the beach at Cathedral Cove.

The walkway to Cathedral Cove

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A tree in the middle of the walkway

Earlier, I saw photos of a packed beach at Cathedral Cove, but since it was now late summer, we were lucky to only find a couple of tourists wandering around.

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The small beach at Cathedral Cove

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Beautiful Cathedral Cove

While taking a gentle stroll on the beach, a group arrived with their kayaks – this must be a nice way of exploring Cathedral Cove.

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On the beach at Cathedral Cove

Of course, we had to take all those stairs back UP to the view point again! But it was definitely worth the effort and we’re glad we had the opportunity to see the magnificent Cathedral Cove.

Hot Water Beach

Hot Water Beach is just a 10 minute-drive from Cathedral Cove. At first, we explored the surrounding areas a bit more and then checked into our cabin at the Hot Water Beach TOP 10 Holiday Park … after the previous night, we decided to give the tent a rest 😃.

You might want to know: “What is this hot water beach?”

According to their info pamphlet: “Within two hours either side of low tide, it is possible to dig into the sand to allowing hot water to escape to the surface forming a hot water pool. The water, with a temperature as hot as 64 ºC, filters up from two underground fissures located close to each other” … and this all happens on the beach!

We rented a shovel at the Information office where we were staying and walked over to Hot Water Beach for a fun time!

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Manned with a shovel and ready to explore Hot Water Beach

After trying and testing the sand, we (hopefully) found the right spot and started to dig a hole in the sand … one big enough for the four of us!

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Now the digging starts …

I must admit … we could have gone through as top engineers, because we were able to create a monster hole with walls high enough to not let any cold sea water in!

Our hole is starting to get shape and we are ready to settle into the hot water

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Pure bliss

When you get too hot in your little pool – and you are brave enough to face the cold sea water – you can walk the few steps to cool off in the cold waves … which Berto has done a couple of times!

Berto on his way to cool off in the cold sea water

It was amazing to see so many people on the beach … not for sunbathing, but rather to  enjoy the hot water pools!

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Hot Water Beach is a fun place for family and friends

We sat until very late in our pool … until high tide came in and the cold sea water destroyed our hot pool’s walls!

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Steam rising from our pool … with the cold sea water just a few meters away

We enjoyed all the new things we saw for the first time and concluded the day with a nice bottle of red wine at our cabin. This was the perfect ending to a great day of exploring!

Tomorrow, we are returning back home. But on our way, we will explore more of the Coromandel.

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