Today we drove ALL day! We left the DOC site at 9am, drove South through Auckland, then up the Coromandel Peninsula to Hot Water Beach, where we arrived at 4pm. We had to fill up with petrol twice on the way!
We had lunch at a service station just south of Auckland, and treated ourselves to a McDonald's and used their free wifi. On the way to the Coromandel, we managed to take a wrong turn somehow, so added an hour and a half onto the journey...oops! It was a very tiring drive for both of us - lots of long, winding roads and steep hills up and down.
When we got to Hot Water Beach, we checked in at the campsite, then headed straight to the beach with our shovels. This beach is famous because if you dig into the sand at low tide at a certain point, boiling hot water comes up from underground, caused by geothermal activity. People go there to have a hot thermal bath in the sand! We didn't really need the shovels as when we got there there were already lots of holes dug, with people lazing in the hot pools. It was amazing to see the steam rising from the pools and to put your feet into the red-hot water.
Back at the very nice campsite (favourite so far!), we made tea and watched TV - Masterchef (Australian), News and How to Look Good Naked (New Zealand buy a lot of English TV so we feel at home!). A nice way to end a very tiring day!