01/19/2020 Whitianga, New Zealand—Hot day—Hot Water Beach

It is sunny and warm here and so the it made for an optimal day to head to the beach. Putting on our suits and grabbing our towels, we headed off to Hot Water Beach. Hot Water Beach is known for the ability to dig holes in the sand (within a narrow window around low tide) and be able to “build’ your own hot tub on the beach from the geothermal features underground. We wandered down to see if anyone had built their own “hot tub”, but on the initial pass we did not find any successful holes. We decided to head back to the car, grab our towels, and find a shady spot along the edges of the beach. Parking ourselves under a tree we laid out our towels and contemplated the waves crashing into the shore.

Getting up the nerve, we wandered out into the surf to play. Dave being much bolder dove right in. Kathy slowly inched herself into the cold waters of the Pacific. After a few more feet the Pacific Ocean knocked Kathy over, and she was suddenly acclimated to the water. Dave and Kathy played and laughed in the ocean. Kathy watched as Dave dove headfirst into the waves and body surfed along the wave into the shore. Kathy body surfed a couple of times but did not stray too far out in the deep end. Tired, we walked back to our towels where we let the warmth of the afternoon dry us out. Getting warm fairly quickly, we decided another romp in the water was just what was needed. A great deal more laughter ensued, especially when Kathy spotted her hair tie that she had lost earlier. Running along the edge of the surf, we were finally able to capture the escaping hair tie!!

Another stroll down the beach to check out the pools, we found a successful pool with a group of people sitting in the hot springs basking in the warm temperatures. They offered to let Kathy to test out the water where she leaned over to test out the temperature. While not cold, it was not exactly hot yet – wrong time of the tides, we guess. We were now thoroughly debrided from the sand, so we figured it was time to head to another place in our adventures.

Somewhat close to Cathedral Cove, we decided to head there for our next adventure of the day. Taking the commuter bus up to the cove parking lot (or “car park”), we did a 35-minute hike down to the cove. The cove was a beautiful arch that you could walk under and get from one beach to another. Amazing view!!! We did not linger long to enjoy the sand or surf as the last bus was a 6 pm and we had only a short time to get back up the incline and back to our car. Well worth the hike.

Dave cooked dinner, meat pies with a salad!! Much more successful than the lasagna!!! Thank you, Dave!!! We rested the balance of the evening as the sun, sand, and pounding surf made us feel like we had been through a washing machine. We had sand in places we didn’t even know we had! 😊

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