Where You Dig Your Own Hot Pool
09.05.2015 - 10.05.2015
After we left New Zealand's largest city, we headed eastward and my adventure on the North Island began.
The first hours on the bus was all about getting to know the new fellow travelers. A new group and new friends to enjoy the journey with.
The drive to the Coromandel Peninsula gave us some great scenic views. It is known for its numerous secluded beaches and untouched native forests. We stopped in Tairua for lunch and supplies. The mountain that dominates the picturesque town is Mount Paku. There was the site of a Maori village called Maori Pa (the fortified village).
Before we head to our hostel which was located close to the famous Hot Water Beach, we took off to the Te Whanganui-A-Hei Marine Reserve - or in English, Cathedral Cove. Leaving the bus at the car park, we went off to the 45-min hike along the coast.
As soon as we stepped out of the forest, we'll found ourselves surrounded by white sand, clear water and the magnificent archway the cove owns its name to. A couple of guys from the bus and I actually dared to get our bathing shorts out and jumped in the water. It was amazing with the steep cliffs around us. The first cold feeling quickly passed and it was a great day at the beach. On the walk back our driver told us a fun fact - Cathedral Cove was used in a music video by Macklemore. And we just took a dip there
Back at our hostel, we unpacked and then walked the short hike to Hot Water Beach. Rated as one of the top 10 beaches by Lonely Planet. Dark clouds were to be seen to arrive soon so we head to hurry up if we wanted to dig our own hot tube. Online it can be read that the water can be pretty hot, but all we managed to surface was lukewarm water. The first reaction to the whole Hot Water Beach thing was disappointing. The promised hot tube was more like a cold bath for our feet. And we weren't the only ones. All around us we saw many unhappy faces. Some did look happy though and we checked out what they did differently. We learned that the beach is not evenly "heated" and that you need some time and luck to find a hot spot. Eventually, we did find such a spot and started digging. In the end, we had our own little hot tube filled with decently hot water right on the beach.
And just in time. The dark clouds were approaching fast. The first rain drops dribbled down and we sprinted back to our hostel. Thanks weather, for staying fine the whole day until the end.