We made really good process after our caving adventures, probably thanks to a 1kg bag of sweets we brought in the petrol station!! So we ended up driving a lot further on than we had originally hoped so we only had a short 50km drive on a dirt track over the mountains and through the Coromandel forest to get to the other side of the peninsula.
After some rain early on by mid morning the sun was out as we stopped at the beautiful Hahei beach and then had a lovely walk along the coast, stopping at Gen Bay and Stingray Bay before reaching Cathedral Cove, a beautiful beach with a huge natural arch on one side of it. The whole bay here is beautiful, loads of little islands, really blue sea. I don't think the pictures do it justice.
We then headed over to hot water beach, hired a shovel and waited for low tide. At low tide you can dig a hole which fills up with hot water from a geothermal spring that surfaces on the beach. It was really busy with locals and the big tour groups getting the best spots first.
We bumped into Carolin our German hitchhiker that we met in Auckland and also a load of Irish lads we met on Lake Titticaca, it is such a small world!! We now had a team with us to dig a hole, we managed to build one that was slowly filling up with hot water until a massive wave came and destroyed our sand walls!! I even got a blister on my hand from digging so hard!Thankfully one of the big tour groups was just leaving so we commandeered their now empty pool slightly higher up the beach. The water was beautiful, really warm and in certain places you couldn't even stand on the sand, it was too hot!! What a relaxing way to end the day. Tomorrow we head for Rotorua which apparently stinks due to it being a highly geothermic area so there is loads of sulphur in the air.
Keep in touch,