Cathedral Cove and the Hot Water Beach

Alright. Catching us up on the “Adventures of Andrew and Julie,” the Saturday before last, the first day off since our friend Nathan came to town, we headed over to Coromandel again. This was the day before my triathlon, so I didn’t want to do too much walking or hiking so we decided to go to the beach. There are two beaches we wanted to check out, Cathedral Cove and Hot Water Beach.

Motorcyclists were out in hoards!

First, we wound our way along the windy roads through Coromandel forest to Cathedral Cove. It’s such a beautiful drive made all the more exciting due to the bike race and the motorcyclists that were out on the road that day. We did a pit stop for gas, and I bought a lovely floppy hat as I cannot wear sunglasses with my glasses on and the sun was quite powerful that day.

On the way to Cathedral Cove

We finally arrived at Cathedral Cove and lathered on the sunscreen. The walk to Cathedral Cove was a tad bit longer than expected. Our many side trips to Gemstone Bay and Stingray Bay didn’t help. But alas, gemstones? stingrays? Of course we were going to check it out! Of course, it was the rocks that shimmered and the bay that looked like a stingray, but it was still a nice little diversion. Both bays were supposed to have excellent snorkeling, so we may have to return for some more exploring in the future.

View up towards Stingray Bay Andrew and Nathan just before Gemstone Bay Stunning views! Aw!

Watch out!

When we finally made it to Cathedral Cove in the afternoon it was packed! I had not seen any destination so packed in this country yet! But there was a very cool rock arch formation on the beach. Unfortunately for Andrew, who was in sneakers, it was half submerged in water and there was a very poorly timed wave that soaked Andrew’s feet! In the breaking waves in Cathedral Cove we even ended up seeing a very large stingray followed by a very small one the size of a dinner plate. It was cute!

Map of the area The ground/rock looks like it was push up here. So fluid!

Made it to Cathedral Cove! Archway! Hmm?

When we had enough of the rock formations, Andrew lied back and enjoyed the shade in Mares Leg Cove while Nathan and I swam out to the rock in the ocean which climbed up and jumped off. I’ll admit, it was a bit scary, but also a blast! We swam back to shore, Andrew and Nathan tossed the Frisbee about and at about this time we all realized we were starving! On our way out of the beach I was unlucky enough to step on a very sharp shell in the sand and cut the underside of my foot! Ouch, and the day before my triathlon! I rinsed it as best I could and then rocked the sock and flip flop (or jandals as they call flip flops here) to prevent it from getting too dirty as it was bleeding a small bit.

The rock Nathan and I swam to! Heading to the other beach! Frisbee!

We headed over to Hahei Beach and bought a shovel and some grub. There was only one shop for food and I had the worst burger I’ve had since we moved here. Andrew and Nathan didn’t have much positive to say about the meager fish and chips they got, but at least the food was cheap!

Ocean Views are EVERYWHERE!

Moving on to the Hot Water Beach, we arrived per the recommendation of our friend Kathy and a small blurb in my guide book. But they both left out some crucial information you see. The Hot Water Beach is pretty neat, and according to our friend, you just dig a hole and you have your own spa! Easy enough, right? Wrong. You can only find the right spots during low tide and at that, there are only two areas that have this effect. There are two areas in which, deep underground there are big pockets of thermal water pools. At low tide, if you dig a hole, the water above heats up and can mimic a hot tub. If you were right over the hot water, it was near boiling. The temperature was so hot you would definitely burn yourself and the one time  I stepped into this water, even as it was streaming into the ocean’s waves, I jumped and yelped it was so hot! When we first arrived, it wasn’t quite low tide so we did have to wait awhile. We tried digging some random holes, to no avail. Finally, we hung around the huge crowds and a very nice couple from Florida let us join them in the big hole they were bathing in. If you dig the hole in the right shape, you can mix the very hot water in with some less hot water to find the perfect temperature to sit and relax in. Definitely one of the stranger things I’ve done in New Zealand so far and it sure was a sight watching all the people digging and sitting in holes around this one area on the beach.

Every day I'm digging... Hot tub haven! Toasty toes.

Alas, when the tide started to come up and we were ready to go, I stepped on a fishes spine bone and pierced my other foot. I had to extract the bone from my foot, but fortunately, this wound didn’t bleed. Did I mention I was racing in a triathlon the next day? Oh dear.

We stopped at a lovely cafe on the way home and I had some easily digestible sweet pea soup  in advance of my race and then we drove home. For a day trip, we accomplished quite a bit!

That pretty much catches me up from an adventures standpoint. I’m starting my job search up again in earnest, because while I am still hoping for this one job that I know I can excel at, the interview has been pushed back so many times I’m beginning to wonder if it will ever happen! And let’s face it, we need to fund our adventures somehow! Andrew’s folks will be visiting next week and then in April, Andrew and I are planning are SUPER AWESOME SOUTH ISLAND ADVENTURE. So the stories and adventures may be few and far between the next couple of weeks as we try to save up for our trip. We still have a few stunning plans, as we did rent a bach in Opito Bay for a few days while Andrew’s parents are here, and I think some afternoon Jazz and wine tastings might be in order. But I may not be able to update for a bit. We’ll see!

Thank you for reading about my adventures! I am so happy I can share my adventures and kiwi oddities and photos with you!