Dig your own spa at Hot Water Beach
Waking up in the morning wasn't as bad as I would have thought it was going to be. I felt a bit stiff from yesterday and my thighs and calves were close to cramping but I've had worse. Looking back at the hike up to the Pinnacles I can now say it has been worth it. But does that mean I would do it again? Probably not...
Anyway... Our last day at the Coromandel Pensinsula had come and we thought we might take it a bit slower and relax. So after a nice sleep-in we made our way to Hot Water Beach at the east coast which is famous for its hot springs. If you bring a bucket and a spade (or hire one for $5 per two hours) you can dig a hole and if you get the right spot hot water will come up - et voilà – you have your own private spa =D
It took us about 1.5 hours to drive from Thames to Hot Water Beach. Low tide started around noon so we made it just in time. Because – and this is very important to keep in mind – it only makes sense digging for your own spa two hours before and after low tide. Once the high tide sets in the water will cover the area where you're supposed to dig.
It took us a while to find the perfect spot. There were heaps of people already at the beach digging and enjoying the water. But most of them actually didn't have hot water. Same thing happened to us – we digged and digged and digged but only found cold water. What kind of joke was this?!?!?
So I went to ask a lifeguard and the girl told me there are actually only two hot springs. One is right in front of the first big rock about 400 meters along the beach and the second one about 20 meters after that one. So we found the rock and started digging. And guess what – minutes later we had to watch out so our feet wouldn't get burned!!!
Now we knew what the bucket was for – to get cold water from the ocean. Otherwise it is soooo hot that you just can't bear it. We had so much fun and it was very relaxing just to sit there and spoil ourselves. Many people were looking at us quite envious because their pool was not even close to warm...
When the tide set in we packed our stuff together and had a picnic close to the beach. The sun was burning really hot... After that we headed north to Cathedral Cove. There's a nice little walk down to the beach where the cove and some interesting rock formations are. It's supposed to be a 45min walk one way - but the Lonely Planet already said anyone who's not on a ventilator will do it in 20mins.
Even we made that - though our legs by this time were killing us. I was so close to getting cramps, walking downhill was almost impossible. Gosh that hurt... So once down at the cove I went straight back into the water for another swim though it had started to rain quite a bit.
We made it back to our wonderful hosts in time for dinner and to say goodbye. We also had to leave Anita behind because she had decided to stay in Thames for a bit longer. So it was just the four of us heading down to Rotorua. We got there just after 11pm - and for the first time I during the trip I really hated being the only one driving all the time.
I didn't have any energy left to get to know our current host, Gabriel (Brazilian), and went to bed after the initial small talk.
You'll find heaps of pictures of Hot Water Beach and Cathedral Cove on Facebook. Just follow this link...