Cathedral Cave and Hot Water Beach – 5th April 2019

Awoke to another beautiful day after what turned out to be a cool night. The van was warm enough and had plenty of warm blankets but it was great to be able to snuggle down and bury your nose.

Once we had had our breakfast of porridge we organised ourselves to drive about 10k up the road to the town of Ha Hei where we boarded a small bus that took us up to the start of the track that takes you down to the beach where Cathedral Cave is. Our view walking down was spectacular, as you can see.

You can see why it is called Cathedral Cave. We are now into Autumn so the tourists should have dropped right back except the Europeans who think 20c is still excellent weather to be travelling still. There were still quite a few down on the beach and we were thinking it would not be a particularly nice place with a lot of people.

Lots of unusual rock formations caused by the currents and tides.

The beach was sublime but not one you would swim at as you could see the rips along with dumpers for waves.

This was the view when you sat down on the loo to have a wee – can’t get much better than that from a loo seat though having said that, we have seen a similar one up on the Milford Track in the South Island and that was truly spectacular.

There was a fresh water stream coming off this hill so a good place to have a salt free shower.

After our half hour slog back up the hill we drove to Hot Water Beach which is a rather interesting geological phenomenon. There is a hot spring region on the tidal area on this beach that if you dig just six inches down, a hot spring will appear…and…we mean hot – burning hot. You take your spade down to the beach or hire one for $12 (thanks for the spade Dex) and start digging a hole just as this myriad of people were doing. Invariably you hit a hot spot, so you make a large enough pool to sit in and then wait for the tide to come up and mix with your hot pool water. You need to watch for hot spots or you will burn you bum.

After getting the sand out of every crevice and we mean every crevice, we drove around to Cooks Beach and set up the vans for the night and just in time as the rain came down. We stayed in a great camping ground so cooked our meal in the main kitchen area which was perfectly kitted out and had our dinner there. This meant the chook that had been hanging around us missed out on the scraps. He/she seemed friendly enough and was very much habitualised.

After dinner we had a much needed cuppa and then went for a soak in the hot tub in the rain. Felt great as we settled down in our beds for the night.

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