Hot water on the beach.....??

Trip Start Nov 09, 2011
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Flag of New Zealand  , North Island,
Wednesday, April 4, 2012

sunday 25th
after chatting to the i site lady yesterday we knew hot water beach was where we were heading... the road from tairua rises up in places and is very windy but has great views back over tairua and pauanui.. we had lunch on hahei beach a beautiful white sandy bay with quite a few little islands as a back drop..and pohutukawa trees for shade..

we arrived at hot water beach in time for the low tide..here down on the sand we dug down about 30cms and built ourselves a pool and waited for it to be filled with almost boiling water... this is only possible for the two hours either side of low tide so loads of people were doing the same ... it was true the water was very hot and kept bubbling up but mixed with a bit of sea water was just right...amazing experience and we sat and enjoyed our hot mineral bath until the tide came back in..

then stayed at the top 10 campsite nearby.

monday 26th
we set off for cathedral cove apparently one of the best walks in new zealand..it is a 90 min return trip over the cliff top, along rugged coast line and down to the beautiful bay..where a large cave leads to another white sandy beach.  with awesome clear skies today the sea was a perfect azure blue with trees on the beach and all the little out crops of islands it was very picturesque..

after lunch on hahei again as its so pretty we drove on to cooks beach, guess who landed here, then on to coroglen, where two artists live, design and sell pottery from their house. a very interesting house and garden which we looked round, i suppose eccentric really with clay birds and obscure statues everywhere..

we stayed in whitianga in a POP

tuesdsay 27th
after a chat to the lady who owned the house we explored the town..a busy hub for marine based activities so not much here for us and so we moved on up the narrow coast road and on to otama beach... almost deserted, this long beautiful white sandy beach with sand dunes behind is hidden away at the end of a 5km windy and steep dirt track ...we spent a few hours here doing our first sun bathing in new zealand...robin is getting a tan...!!..and i had my first swim in the sea ..we stayed in a near by camp site at kuaotuna back on the main road..

wednesday 28th
we woke up next to the river with a sunrise and blue skies again..we drove along the little used very narrow single track gravel road to grays bay and rings beach, a magical mix of white sandy bays, holiday homes and little else, ending up in matarangi where the golf course is the main event..!!..  surrounded only by a huge estate of mostly expensive houses ..

 on to whangapoua where the river meets the sea in a large sweeping estuary of clear water and sandy beaches... after lunch we did the 2 hour walk to what has been voted one of the best beaches in the world...!!..it is only accessible on foot after wading through the river, so very secluded white sands with a cliff backdrop..yes very very picture postcard..but one of the best....hmmm..not so sure...we did more sunbathing but no swim for me...

then headed on to coromandel town..the road goes from one coast to the other east to west over the mountains to a summit viewpoint over the town... we had a puncture but were so lucky as we were only 500m from a garage when it happened and we spent the night in their back yard...as it was after closing time.

thursday 29th
garage man arrived and ordered us two new tyres and while we were waiting we walked around the town..a haven for craftsmen and alternative lifestylers with many therapy and arty shops fine victorian buildings and some gold mining relics..we were all sorted by 1pm and headed north to see the deserted coromandel peninsula..described as the unspoiled paradise we drove up the off the beaten track road...

the island studded coastline of amodeo bay and cliff top roads were spectacular before the road wound inland rising over the summit to unsurpassed views of the rugged green valley of colville which was home to the 1970 s hippy culture and now houses the mahamudra buddist retreat centre which we had a look round..we spent the night at papa aroha campsite with a plot right on the beachfront..awesome few days...

by the way has anyone noticed the distant pics of the van...?





 
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