Day 37/72: Hot Water Beach/Cathedral CovDecember 3, 2018 in New Zealand ⋅ 🌧 19 °C
The rain was on its way out as we got up and breakfasted this morning. An exciting day was ahead! The plan was to go to Hot Water Beach in the morning, head over to Cathedral Cove, and then drive to Raglan for a day of surfing the next day.
Hot Water Beach was brilliant, and we're so glad we went all this way to see it. We arrived and parked up, rented a little spade and headed for the beach. At low tide, there in an area on this beach, which must be a couple of hundred metres long, where hot springs bubble up through the sand. This only happens in an area of about 40x20m and some areas are much hotter than others. You'd step on one bit of sand, cool under your feet, and then the next stride you'd jump in shock as you scalded the bottom of your foot! We found an area not currently occupied and dug our waterhole, mixing an area of very hot water and cold water. It created a nice bath like temperature and we settled down, watching the sea and taking photos, laughing with everyone else at how bizzare this experience was and trying not to rest our heels in the boiling part of our hole. As the tide came up, the water got cooler and we abandoned our morning bath. As we handed back the spade, the cafe owner said that today was a great day for it, as there was only 30 people or so in the area. On some days, if the tide falls at a popular time, the beach is known to have thousands of visitors in one tide, all crowding around this small area of sand. Very pleased, we went on our way to Cathedral Cove.
Cathedral Cove is a beach with a huge rock archway leading to another beach, all in a cove. Its very impressive and we got the impression that you could only really get there by boat or kayak. As the water was choppy, neither were running but we found out you could do a few hour round walk and get there along the coast. We prepped with suncream and a couple of cheese toasties, and walked along the cliffs, admiring the scenery and jumping at goats that stuck their heads out of the bushes on the sides of the track. The cove was impressive, with huge waves crashing on the sand and against the rocks that stood resolutely in the middle of the bay. We walked along the sand, taking photos, walking through the archway and being blasted by wind and salt off the sea. It looked like a beach you might see someone stranded on, on a large desert island. The walk back was just as enjoyable and by mid afternoon we were back and ready to drive to Raglan.
The drive was easy and apart from a landslide that blocked the road we were on, high above a raging river, very safe. The driving was just as good as the day before and we saw the best rainbows of our lives, so clear! We arrived at Raglan and booked to have a surf session the next day. We again were situated right next to the sea so went for a walk along the black sand beach past people fishing and a woman playing the diggerydoo as the sun fell over the land. We made tortellini for dinner, and as it started to drizzle (learning more and more not to predict NZ weather) we got ready for bed with Buble's Christmas album playing through the van.Read more