Road 309 is well renouned as a fantastic driver's road from the Coromandels to Whitianga, despite being in a poor man's Winnebago I still wanted to drive it.I'd been driving for about 10km when I stumbled across a small holding, there were little piglets running around all over the road, I had to slow to walking pace as more and more came out to greet me, they were very cute, is it wrong that all I could think of was bacon sandwiches?
The weather was fantastic so when we came up to yet another waterfall I had to stop, we completed another 45minute walk in 15 minutes.I'm not sure where they get their figures from, it's not as if I have long legs or walk especially quickly???
We got to Whitianga and decided to keep going to Cathedral Bay, we arrived at the same time as the Kiwi Experience bus (a coach that ferries you from hostel to hostel, selling activities and stopping at the odd tourist attraction on the way).With an abundance of 19 year olds Niall was like a dog with two tails.If I'm honest having someone else to talk to was quite nice too.Niall is a nice bloke, but we're two different people and 24/7 with a stranger is quite difficult.Anyway, I'm rambling.
We all walked down to Cathedral Cove, a picturesque little beach with a fantastic cove formed in a peninsular of rock.I can imagine it would be absolutely glorious in the summer, but probably spoilt by a million tourists, so we definitely got the best deal.The landscape was great but nothing compared to that that I had seen the previous day on the Port Charles trek.
After the hour and a half trek we jumped in the van and headed to Hot Water Beach.Two hours either side of low tide you access an area of the beach, where you can dig a hole to create your own thermal pool as the water oozes up through the sand.Apparently the water gets so hot that we could cook our mussels in the temporary spa???
Anyway Niall jumped in the van he wanted to drive, which was fine until we got to the car park at the Hot Water Beach.He tried to squeeze in to a fairly small space and put a huge white campervan shaped gauge in this poor guys Subaru estate.I'm not one to say 'I told you so' but...!Once he'd realised he'd cocked up, he then wanted to drive off.This is where I put my foot down and said no way. So Niall is $1200 lighter in the pocket and slightly pissed that I would let him drive off.
We sat around for about forty five minutes waiting for the guy KIT K4T (cool number plate) to come back, which meant we only managed to catch the last half hour on the beach before tide came back in.I was completely taken back by how hot the water was, there were sections of the hole I couldn't even stand in.So we could have cooked the mussels, not too sure I would have wanted to after everybody has been bathing in the water all day! The run back to the van wasn't quite so nice as I had forgotten my towel, chilly chilly.
I tried to sort out a dive for the next day but was told the weather was closing in and the visibility would be pretty low.So we arranged to do some bone carving (I know very rock & roll).It was actually good fun and took ages, we were in the place for four hours.Four hours of torrential rain, so definitely the right choice.
The bone carving is a traditional Maori art, each design means something different.The bone we used was cow bone, which had to be cut, shaped, polished, polished again, polished some more, polished further still and then finally polished before being polished.It must have taken to ancient Maoris ages without the aid of a Drimel and wet & dry paper.
We had a couple of beers that night at the only pub in town, which was holding a rock idol contest, the locals were really getting in to it, Niall tries to be a bit too cool for school so not sure he was enjoying it or up for geeking off quite as much as me!