I am writing this exceedingly retrospectively because apparently the internet hates me and I haven’t actually been able to write anything for this blog. I’ve been thoroughly enjoying myself. I am writing this post having just arrived back into Auckland after some weeks travelling around seeing the sights of this quite frankly inspiring country of New Zealand.
So anyway, where was I? Oh yeah. Auckland. It’s not very exciting, it’s just a city. My advice for anyone arriving to go travelling would be to scoot on out of town after a day or two. I left on the Kiwi Experience bus, a hop on hop off service that is half bus tour (so they have sign up sheets for accomodation and activities etc). My adventure had begun! Leaving Auckand itself was dull but I’d had no sleep due to various hostel related stuff and motorways aren’t my jam.
Enroute, we stopped at the most rare of sights… a Pak’n’Save! Of course, not actually that rare, but after a city Countdown (for English readers, it was like finding ASDA after only having a small town Co-Op) it felt like we had more options than any of us knew what to do with. It was the first of many supermarket stops on the trip, and weirdly, I now have favourite NZ Supermarket…
But you aren’t interested in the supermarket stops.
We arrived into Hot Water Beach after crossing the Coromandel Range. Honestly – I didn’t take any pictures of the range crossing because it was impossible to capture the sheer scale of the tree covered hilltops and the lakes. Also, I was on a bus and bus photos are rubbish. We also stopped at a beach area called Cathedral Cove, where there is a limestone arch on sandy beaches and a sea more teal than any body of water we have in England outside of a swimming pool.
I built a sandcastle. How can you sit on a beach and not build a sandastle?? (Apparently very easily as I was the only one of a group of about 10 who built a sandcastle)
Hot Water Beach is special because the Earth’s crust under the beach is only kilometers thick, therefore at low tide you can dig into the sand and the water is hot (and by hot I mean jumping up and down and back onto the cold sand ASAP kinda hot). You basically dig for your own spa! It was pretty cool. We tried digging our own spa but were only getting ankle deep ice cold water so I’m not sure if I missed an incantation or something. Luckily, one of the groups on the beach were leaving and they offered up their pre-dug hole.
A highly peculair experience, sitting in about three inches of hot water on a cold beach in the tail end of New Zealand winter. It wa made more peculiar by the fact we had to try and stop the water on one end getting too hot (unsuprisingly we failed and our pool of sit-able water got smaller and smaller).
It was great fun, and a great start to our trip! Traipsing across a hill to a beach then digging a hole in the sand for a spa-like burning experience is truly a bonding activity – who knew!
Up next! We go caving to find some glowworms in Waitomo!