On our way to the ever-popular Coromandel Region we made a pit stop at the Karangahake (karanga-hah-key) Gorge – a naturally beautiful gorge made more interesting by the relics, tunnels, and swing bridges of the long-gone gold mining industry. We opted for the famous Windows Walk, an easy loop track that sent us meandering through the goldfield ruins, peeking out of cliffside windows, and making use of our headlamps as we walked the long, dark and damp corridors of mining-past.
From the gorge we moseyed north along the eastern side of the Coromandel Peninsula until we reached the always crowded (within two hours of low-tide) and always fun Hot Water Beach. This beach is known as a “hot spot” both for its tourism and because of the geothermal activity that occurs just below the sand. We arrived just in the knick of time; with the tide racing in and the sun setting the crowd had dispersed leaving plenty of hot pools to choose from. We bounced from luke-warm, to chilly, to too-hot-to-touch, to just right, where we finally laid back and relaxed until the cold ocean water of the incoming tide splashed over our sandy walls and forced us to retreat back to the warmth of the van.
The following day was spent WOLOing along one of NZ’s most beautiful beaches (another one of our Top 5 NZ Beaches) at Cathedral Cove. After a moderate 30-minute hike we arrived at the famed Cathedral Cove archway (a gigantic arch popularized by romantic photos), cool blue-green waters, and the white fluffy sands of the cove! We caught our fair share of sun rays while we gazed out toward the sea cliffs and then bid the farewell to the sights. On our way back to the carpark we took a detour to Stingray Bay; as we descended the stairs a much more secluded but equally as gorgeous bay lay out before us. We spent the remainder of the afternoon under the shade trees watching the crabs feed and enjoying our simple life in paradise!
– Go. Change your state of mind.
Song lyrics: Plain White T’s “Rhythm of Love”
Next stop: Coromandel – Part 2