Our first stop of the day was the Auckland Museum, where we stopped for a quick leg stretch and loo stop.
Our second stop of the day was in Thames at Pak n Save to grab some lunch and dinner supplies for the next few days. This was the location that we came up with a sequel to Hitchcock’s The Birds because of the large number of seagulls that appeared out of nowhere. Be sure to check it out in our video here. Sadly we didn’t get to explore the gold-rush town outside of the supermarket and it’s carpark.
We made a quick pit stop at our accommodation for the night, more on that in just a sec, to get checked in, drop off our bags and stick our shopping in the fridge before getting back on the bus to head out for a walk. There was the option to go sea kayaking but unfortunately with Anthony’s back troubles this was not an activity we could take part in.
Once we were all sorted we headed off to Cathedral Cove. This marine reserve is named after the cave linking Mare Leg’s Cove and Cathedral Cove. The walk from the car park down to the cove was quite steep but was easy enough to walk. Fortunately it is also nicely shaded so it was nicely cool for the hike back to the bus.
We enjoyed a nice relaxing rest on the white sands and a quick paddle in the warm blue sea. You may recognise the cove as it featured in The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian and Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ video for Can’t Hold Us.
As mentioned previously, we stayed in Hot Water Beach. There was no other lodgings in the vicinity so we stayed at the Kiwi Experience guaranteed accommodation. This was a Top 10 Holiday Park and it seemed like the Kiwi bus accommodation was separate to the public areas. Our lodge consisted of two dorm rooms that housed seven people each and were joined by a communal kitchenette and shower and toilet facilities. Outside of the lodge was a number of picnic benches and a larger separate kitchen. The facilities looked pretty much brand new and were perfectly suitable for an overnight stay. It was our first stay in a dorm room but we’d been fortunate enough to get a double bed so it wasn’t all bad.
After dinner we headed down to the beach with our new friends to try out the hot springs. Two hours either side of low tide it is possible to dig down into the sand allowing the thermal water to escape so you can make yourself a cosy beach bath. The water can reach temperatures of over 64°C (147°F) so you have to be careful not to scold yourself. We saw a number of pits people had dug where the water was literally bubbling it was so hot, you definitely don’t want to be sitting in that! You can easily lower the temperature by adding sea water though. Some people had sea water added by accident when a number of large waves washed into their pits. We took that as our cue to leave for the night!