Up to a Hot Water BeachFebruary 10 in New Zealand ⋅ ☀️ 19 °C
We took our bathing suits and headed to a beach where we could dig ‘hot tubs’ on the beach at low tide. Fun!
From Thames, we drove west and then north to Ferry Landing. Thames is the biggest town on the Peninsula and we wanted to visit the second biggest town (5,000). Whitianga. At a certain spot, there is a choice of getting to the town by either taking a 2 minute smooth ferry ride across the strait or a 45 minute drive around the point on windy roads. You can probably guess which option we took.
In November, 1769 Captain James Cook arrived in the area in his ship The Endeavour, to observe the transit of the planet Mercury. He stayed for about 12 days in the pretty harbour, later called Mercury Bay, and made friends with the natives living there.
The whole area is known for its beautiful white sandy beaches and people come here for holidays. There is a lot to do if you enjoy being on the water - kayaking, diving, boating and game-fishing.
When native forests were being harvested on the peninsula in the 1800s and early 1900s, Whitianga was a timber port. Ships from Europe sailed in to Whitianga's deepwater harbour to load up with valuable kauri logs. Today, the town depends on fishing, farming and tourism.
We went over to the town just to check it out and have lunch there. There are a lot of cool little shops and bookstores and it is a pretty town.
Low tide was at 2:15, and that’s when we had a date on a famous Hot Water Beach.
Every day, for 2 hours on either side of low tide, in one small area in front of a rocky outlet, hot water oozes up from beneath the sand. People get little shovels and dig ‘hot tubs’ to sit in. In some places, the water is so hot that it is steaming! We had a lot of fun sharing our tub with an elderly mom from England who was visiting her son. When we got too hot, we jumped into the cold ocean water. It was great!
When we got tired of relaxing, haha, we drove to the very touristy Hahei Beach for a walk towards the equally famous Cathedral Cove. Everything touristy is this area is expensive but the beach and the view of the offshore islands is lovely.
The weather here has been so great and the days are long. It is so wonderful being in the sunshine from 6 a.m. to 9:30 at night. We are so fortunate.Read more