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The Temperature is Rising ...
Cathedral Cove and Hot Water Beach
Yesterday, we made the trip to visit Cathedral Cove and nearby Hot Water Beach.
Give it a Miss - Cathedral Cove
It is a 75 minute trip one way from the nearest car park to Cathedral Cove – with a number of very steep uphill sections.
Today was very warm and so it was a real “shirt soaker”! Some enterprising local residents were offering parking on their drives – honk to park and part with $10 for the privilege.
Cathedral Cove was pretty and the sound of the ocean resounding in the hollowed out rock did sound cathedral like. Overall though, there were too many visitors there (despite the challenging walk) and we felt it was a bit over-rated. It is often described as a “must do” in other blogs – but I would Give it a Miss personally!
Nearby Hahei Beach, on the other hand, was long and beautiful with very few people on it.
We took the walk up to Pa Lookout ands got a rewarding view of the pristine coastline – you can really see why this stretch is nicknamed the paradise coast.
Must Do - Hot Water Beach
Ten minutes drive from Cathedral Cove is Hot Water Beach where hot water from two underground springs gushes up from 2kms below ground to the surface when you dig in the sand.
Finding the source of the hot water spring on Hot Water Beach is pretty amazing. The water reaches 60 – 66 degrees C at this point – too hot to stand on!
It was pretty incredible to feel the heat of the water just a few steps from the cool ocean surf.
There is an imaginatively named cafė on the beach called Hotties – but it shuts up at 3.30 – like many other cafės in NZ, we have discovered.
Tips for Future Travellers
The trick is:
- Visit 2 hours either side of low tide (which was 7pm for us).
- Pick a spot that’s not too far back along the beach (where the water is very hot), but mid-way, allowing the seawater to flow in and mingle with the hot spring water to create the perfect temperature.
- Sand spades are available for rent at $5 a go.
- Parking is a hefty $4 an hour at Hot Water Beach We didn’t realise until after we had paid for 3 hours parking that you can park a little way out of the beach area easily enough.
Flora and Fauna
Wrybill – We saw a wrybill – a bird which is only seen in NZ – as we walked the 2 1/2 hour loop up to the waterfall at Wentworth Valley which is worth the effort to see.
The walk up is through towering silver tree ferns (ponga) – was like being in a jungle.