After our longest day of driving the van so far, we bypassed Auckland on our way down and across to the Coromandel Peninsula and camped at Hahei Beach.
We awoke to a stunningly hot sunny morning and wandered down to the beach, on our way back we spotted a couple just about to tuck into a breakfast of fresh fish caught that morning from their kayak. Less than ten minutes later and there we were, sat out in the sun sharing a fresh red snapper breakfast with them!
With the weather so good we hired some snorkel gear and wetsuits (long sleeves and a hood for Bee) and set off on the coastal walking track to Cathedral Cove, we had been recommended Gemstone Bay a boulder beach with a snorkel trail laid out in the marine reserve. We braved the icy waters for our first snorkelling of the trip, we saw lots of snapper (and felt a little guilty about our breakfast...), red moki and some little reef fish.
The following day as we set off for Waitomo, we just caught the last half an hour before the tide became too high at Hot Water Beach, where the hot water bubbles up through the golden sand and you can dig your own spa pool at the beach! Brilliant!