Days 5+6: Welcome to NZ

Cathedral Cove and Hot Water Beach

We spent most of the 5th day of our trip on the airplane, on the way from Beijing to Auckland. We landed and went straight for dinner in a restaurant next to the airbnb flat we rented. It was nice to be back in the familiar world.

The next morning we picked up a car and left Auckland (we will be back soon!) for the Coromandel Peninsula. After an hour we were inside thick forests filled with a mixture of plants we have never seen before. A short 40 minute walk and we got to Cathedral Cove — a local phenomena.

Inside it does feel like a cathedral

The rock itself is worth seeing but the beach, with countless islands scattered in the horizon and water dripping out of every hole in the rocks around, is the real reason to come here.

A random rock on the beach
Trees growing off the side of the cove wall
Always wanted to stand behind a waterfall

Just before starting the climb back up, we noticed that the sun changed its angle and a small rainbow appeared over the small waterfall.

Just keeps getting better

We climbed back to the parking lot and took a final panoramic picture of the view before continuing to our next stop.

What’s happening on all those tiny islands right now?

A short drive and we got to Hot Water Beach, another local phenomena. A specific area of the beach contains hot water really close to ground level. You rent a shovel and start digging in the sand, creating your own private hot tub. In specific spots the water that come out of the sand is almost boiling so you must balance it out with the freezing sea water that come with every wave. It’s actually really fun!

It was actually really cold so the beach is empty other than the hot water area
Ron is hard at work digging
Final result: a private steaming bathtub under the sky in a freezing October day (notice the steams on the right side)