Today we left Auckland and headed to Hot Water Beach in Coromandel. On the way we stopped for food in a nice little place called Thames, which Captain Cook named after the river in London.
We drove for a little longer before having a few hours to visit Cathedral Cove. Which was a spectacular coastal walk down to a beach with caves and coves, and lots of little islands dotted around the bay.
Arriving in the area of Coromandel we checked into our lodges in a holiday park. The lodges are dorms but very nicely done, they all have private kitchens, showers and bathrooms.
Then we went a stroll to Hot Water Beach, named so because there is a thermal outlet in the sand from a extinct volcano. So at low tide we got our spades (which we hired from the local shop for a few dollars) and dug a trench in the sand but the water coming up wasn't too hot so we jumped in an empty pool which was very hot- well 64 degrees to be exact. We bathed for a while, along with hundreds of other people in their little pools. Shan also went for a swim in the cold sea. It was such a surreal experience sitting in a dug out sand pit with hot water lapping around us.
At night we went to the chippy and I got my fix of battered sausage (also had a fab one in Melbourne- along with a pickled onion), we sat on the decking with our chips and NZ beers. We chilled at night watching our episodes of Big Love and then stargazed. The sky was the most fullest I'd ever seen, stars everywhere! We even saw shooting stars, it was perfect.