Monday, August 24, 2015

New Zealand: Auckland, Hot Water Beach, Cathedral Cove


New Zealand here we come!!!  We thought we had plenty of time to catch our flight from Sydney to Auckland, however we did not know how long the boarder control line would be.  We were barely passing through security 20 minutes before our flight was scheduled to depart.  To say I was freaking out was an understatement.   It was the silent, staring straight in front of me kind of freaking out, where I knew I couldn't do anything but move through the line and then run like a bat out of hell to my gate.  When we cleared security, we took off!  Running, I'm pretty good at normally, running with a 20 pound backpack, eh, it starts to slow you down.  I was doing my best, and we could see the gate in front of us with, may I add, the staff totally making fun of us!  They were like, "slow down, we aren't going to leave you." Ha!  I guess there were a bunch of passengers stuck in the line so they delayed the flight so everyone could make it.  Huge shout out to Qantas Airlines.  They were amazing!  
These were our faces after everything, feeling pretty frazzled.


When we finally arrived in New Zealand ,4 hours later, we were greeted by this big guy.  His sign reads, "On loan from Middle Earth."  It pretty much made our day.


We stayed at the Rydges Hotel in Auckland.  Porter had a day of business, so I went foraging and found some breakfast then walked around the city before we headed out on our adventure.   Misters was a cute little cafe.  I even got an edible flower on my porridge.




We left Auckland behind and headed for the hills.  Auckland was fine, but not my favorite city.  It just seemed like a normal medium metro.   We drove a few hours (in the dark, which was terrifying!) to the Coromandel Peninsula.  We stayed at the Top 10 Holiday Parks, kind of like KOAs in the US.  We had a little cabin barely big enough for a bed.  But it was cute, clean, and warm.  I was just happy to be out of the car and off the tiny winding roads.


In the club house there was this giant cat just chilling on an old, run down sofa.  The cat was so cute.  I kept trying to pet her and wake her up but no dice.  She was fast asleep.  I noticed a lot of places in New Zealand had shop cats that just hang around and sleep.  It's pretty adorable.


The next morning we walked down to hot water beach.  There is a spot on this particular beach where boiling hot water comes to the surface.  You can go out there and dig a little hot tub for yourself where the ocean water mixes with the hot water to create the perfect temperature. We grabbed a quick bite to eat, rented a spade for digging then headed out to the beach.

The walk was beautiful.


We started digging.


Everyone was digging away.

Porter working hard to find the hot water.


We kept moving around to find the spot.


Finally we found it.  There is basically only one big spot and everyone flocks to it.  The water was so hot it would burn your toes if you stood on the sand too long.  Here Porter is helping a bunch of boys fortify the walls of the hot tub as the tide was coming in.




After beach time we took a hike to Stingray Bay and Cathedral Cove.  It was gorgeous!!!



It took us an hour to hike down to the cove.


The Cathedral Rock that you could walk through.

I can't believe we were at the beach in winter and it was this nice.


This part of the North Island is a bit remote, but totally worth a visit.


We loved this hike!

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