After some recharge days in Auckland we resumed our journey to Coromandel. We thought it would be fun to take a detour and drive alongside the west coast of the peninsula. We were right to do so! The beautiful, blue, glittery sea contrasted by the black boulders where the beach was made off was amazing to see. The yellow/orange sand walls overgrown with the 50 shades of green made the picture complete. After our lunch in Coromandel we went on to Whitianga. We arrived at Cat’s Pyjamas; a homey old cat lady hostel with a lot of young travellers.
We got the tip to go the New Chums Beach. A beach you can’t reach by car. Instead you have to make your way through the stoney beaches and jungle paths to get there. The tropical beach made us feel like we were on a deserted island. The water was a bit rough and cold but the sun was shining intensely. Later that day we went to Cathedral Cove, famous from the movie Narnia and therefore a bit more touristic. Despite of the tourists, we enjoyed the beautiful view.
We had to get up early today to catch the low tide at Hot Water Beach. At 9 A.M. we were equipped with our shovels and were ready to start digging. Luckily we got a hot pool some other guys made at the very front. This meant we could enjoy the free spa without working and an amazing view. In the afternoon we made our way to Hamilton via Karangahake Gorge (another scenic ride).
We compensated the early morning from yesterday by sleeping in this morning. It was a hot day and perfect weather to stroll around the botanical Hamilton Gardens. The diversity was enormous and we loved spending our day in these fairylike gardens.
This rainy afternoon we took shelter in the Waitomo Glowworm Caves. The guide told us a lot about how the cave used to be and how the tour changed over time. The last part of the tour was seeing the actual glowworms while slowly making our way out on a boat. Sadly we could not make any pictures as it would shorten the life span of the glowworms. However, believe us when we say it was breathtaking. It looked just like a starry night.
The plan was to go to Raglan today, which is meant to be a surfing paradise. However because of the bad weather (there is a reason they say it’s four seasons in one day) we decided to skip Raglan and go on to Rotorua instead. When we entered the city, we immediately saw, but mostly smelled the notorious sulphur steam leaking from every hole.
As we’re also here to experience the Maori culture, we decided to go to Tewhakarewarewawatangaoteopetauaawahiao (or Whaka for short 😉 ). We got an interesting tour that was all about the way they adjust to and use the geothermal heat in their lives. We also experienced some Maori songs and dances, including the famous Haka. Afterwards we went to The Red Forest for a hike.
On our way to the next place we stopped by Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland. Among other things we saw some neon green water, a colourful bubbling lake with a fitting name; The Champagne Pool, violently boiling mud pools and The Inferno Crater. All of this with the sulphuric smell tingling our noses. The whole experience was surreal because of the unnatural colours and the steam rising from the ground.
Love Miriam & Mirte