So here's the preface – it's been about two weeks since we've actually been on and blogged, and it will probably be about another two weeks before we get on line and actually post these. We're still getting used to having to pay for internet access and getting things done on $2/20 minute time lines. So be it, we're on holiday...
Anyway, here goes –
So one of the things I will give NZ (that would be pronounced “en-zed”) is that there is no shortage of absolutely stunning hikes to take all over the place. Now granted, the main highways around here disappear beyond 20 km outside of a major city and from there on they are two lane roads passing through some of the most amazingly scenic landscapes ever. You just drive along and look for the sign to the next waterfall, walking track, scenic beach or forest tramp, almost all of which are guaranteed amazing. As we made our way down the Coromandel Peninsula two of the great spots we hit were Cathedral Cove and Hot Water Beach.
The first was a twenty minute hike (down from the posted 45 minutes) to the beach where there were amazing caves, arches and rock formations. I got a few shots, but damn the battery running out in the camera and damn me for forgetting the extra battery. Hot Water Beach is some what of a phenomenon in the highly thermal region of the North Island. On two hours either side of the low tide the hot water springs start flowing up to the beach. So for that four hours a small area of the beach is packed with people digging holes in the sand, letting the hot water bubble up and the cold ocean water flow in creating superb little soaking pools. It really is a free, PWT hot tub, but hey, we're in another country so therefore it's “...a quirky, unique experience not to be missed...” (so says Lonely Planet).