New Zealand - Day 7

It stayed cloudy for most of the day, but the rain stayed away and the temperature was very comfortable. We went for a long stroll on Whitianga beach followed by an expensive breakfast in town.

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We drove from Whitianga the short drive down to Hot Water Beach. As its name suggests, there are hot springs on the beach so during low tide people go there, dig a hole, and enjoy a hot bath. There was already quite a crowd there when we arrived, but we managed to find a small spot to dig a hole and sat in excrutiatingly hot water.

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From there we drove and walked to Cathedral Cove, a gorgeous secluded beach with a sea cave. The cove is about a 45 minute walk from the car park through forest and field. One particular spot reminded me strikingly of Hobbiton. When we arrived at the cove we we went swimming, one at a time as we had to guard the cameras. When I say swimming I really mean wave fighting.

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On the way back from there we took the 309 Road, a very scary steep gravel road with nightmarish switchbacks. We were risking our lives to visit the Waiau Waterworks, a bizarre collection of water driven contraptions in a rainforest-like setting. Everything from water driven clocks to pedal powered pumps, as well as fascinating sculptures by the water guy's wife.

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A quick stop at Coromandel and then it was back to the motel for a shower and out to dinner at the On the Rocks restaurant. Great food (fush n chups!) but quite pricey. Tomorrow it's off to Rotorua.