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Cathedral Cove and Hot Water Beach

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14 °C

Monday July 12/10
After a morning of trying to get access to the internet (very frustrating!) and going to the beach (where we saw our first sea slugs), bakery (where we got some rather yummy treats) and coming back to the bach, Tim and I made some really quite amazing grilled cheese sandwiches. We then headed for the Wentworth Falls Trail.


It was only 6 kms from the bach so it was a quick drive—no gravol needed!! However we did have to drive through a stream, but the kids liked that. The walk itself was incredible. I keep seeing these giant fern trees, and lush vegetation and expect a meat-eating dinosaur to emerge from the forest to say hello and have a snack. The trail itself is very well groomed and the regenerated forest that flank the sides of the trail host a wide variety of plant and bird life. We are not at the point where we can identify all of these plants and birds but do know that we have not spotted a weta yet!! When we got to the lookout for the falls, we stopped for a little while to take in the beauty of the 50 meter falls and also to chat with a few of the local Kiwis (People, not the birds!).


Once back at the bach we discovered (Jenn that is), that the trail actually went a little further and we could have walked to the top of the falls. This was unfortunate, but not a big deal. The kids are doing great on the hikes and don’t complain that much. Mind you, having friends to chat to while hiking is a wonderful distraction!

Another Hike
On Tuesday we went to the Cathedral Grove and Hot Water Beach near Whitianga.
Cathedral  Cove

Cathedral Cove

The Cathedral Cove hike started with a breathtaking view of the ocean and a shoreline. The cameras were flashing, the wind blowing gently and the levels of excitement amongst the crew were elevated. We started off on a downward slope, only to have it rise a little while later and then fall and rise and fall and rise, ... hummm do you think we are tramping in the Coromendel range!! Once again as we were distracted by the varied and interesting vegetation and glimpsing views of the ocean,that we were quite surprised to have a couple of cows come out of the bush and on to the trail in front of us. They walked up the trail 10 m and then jumped off and resumed their munching of grass and vegetation. They did not seem surprised or concerned with humans in their way. The trail had a few interesting gates that only allowed one or two people to pass at a time. (subsequent to our cow encounter we realized these gates were to keep the cows contained) Ayden became the doorman for our group did an admirable job. The final approach to the cove was down a series of steps, 149 – 154 of them. We were not agreed upon the count. The stairs ended at an incredible beach that only contained a small handful of people. On this beach there were rock formations which included a large archway 40m long and 20m tall, a 10m wide bench that was head height from the ground a 40m cliff with a small waterfall and a flowerpot like the ones at Hopewell rocks in eastern Canada. We dined on fine sandwiches of assorted meats and cheese and some cut vegetables. We took some pictures and unfortunately our camera batteries were getting low on power so we didn’t take as many as we would have wished. After getting our fill of the natural beauty this place had to offer, we headed back to the cars and headed to Hot Water Beach about 15 kms away.
Hot Water Beach is a place where there are 2 thermal ‘spots’ on the beach where the water can reach between 60 and 64 degrees celsius. CathedralC..ach_95_.jpgCathedralC..ch_105_.jpg
Hot Water Beach

Sands are so hot at some points that you can not stand on the sand for more than two seconds. A metre to the side of these hot spots and the sand can be as cold as the ocean, which was quite cold at this time. There were many people there and most were gathered in the spot where the hot sands offered the most heat, though not standing directly on the hottest spots. You could dig a hole and have it fill with water, then stand, sit or sprawl out in it. The only problem is that every once in a while the ocean would laugh and say time to fill in the holes. It would send a wave up and wash out everyone’s work in a matter of seconds. The hidden gem at this beach was the incredible wave action!! Just picture a blue sky with barely a cloud and then massive waves breaking of the rocks out in the water. An incredible sight and sound.
We headed back on, you guessed it, a winding road, to Whangamata and had a burger and salad dinner. During this drive we did gain some insight into our previous experience with river water covering the road and people just driving right through. Today there was a sign on the road that was a large exclamation point with the word ‘ford’ underneath. We realized that the roads are built extra durable at some points because flooding and high tides will occur and these points are built to withstand it. At high tide you are expected to just drive through the water.

Our day ended with relaxing games, chating and munching on some chips!

What is itThe following link is a google doc that contains the standings in the What is it competition. Lynn was first to respond to the fishing gizmo, but Kaitlin was very specific so I gave her top marks. I'll have to look at the latest chrome button responses before I update.

Posted by gcapfour 16:18 Archived in New Zealand Tagged tourist_sites

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