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.
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.
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.
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.
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.